Guiding Families Towards Home

NY Jets Celebrate with IHN Children at Back-to-School Bash


Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County (IHN) hosted its annual Back-To-School Bash Sept. 11 for children in the shelter and housing programs. This time, however, they were joined by players from the NY Jets.

Muhammad Wilkerson, Bart Scott, Marcus Dixon, and Quinton Coples answered questions, played all sorts of games (even freeze dance!), autographed oodles of shirts and cards, and posed for picture after picture — all with nonstop smiles and inspiring words. Volunteers from the Far Brook School assisted with food, games, and logistics.

IHN’s connection with the NY Jets began when Muhammad Wilkerson, son of former Case Manager Janice Wilkerson, was chosen as the Jets’ first draft pick for the 2011–2012 season. Having grown up with his mother caring for others experiencing hardship, Muhammad and Janice lost no time getting his team involved with IHN’s Back-to-School Bash.

As IHN Executive Director Tia Aery sees it, “We couldn’t think of a better way to launch the school year than to host the NY Jets for our party. Taking time from their busy schedules to meet and play with the children in our network shows our children that they are surrounded by people who care and value them. Plus they’ll likely return to school with some impressive bragging rights!”

Click the photo below to view the video:

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"Thank you to each and every one of you for what you have done for me and my family. When I first came into IHN I knew that we would be moving every week to a different congregation but I had no clue that I would meet such beautiful persons and that my family would have such an impression on anyone when we were feeling like the world was about to come to an end. The hope and love that was shown to us helped us to realize that we were not alone. My experience is not one that I will ever forget."