30 Years of Service to the Community
The Windmill Alliance – an outreach program of Trinity Episcopal Church In Bergen Point – was formed in 1985 with the support and blessings of all the faith communities in Bayonne and is still supported by volunteers from all the churches and synagogues in the city.
Our first project was created in response to the lack of services available to the developmentally disabled adult population — there was literally nowhere for them to go and nothing for them to do after leaving the educational system. Thus the Windmill Center — Where Independence Nourishes Dignity Mid Iinspired Lighthearted Labor! — was born.
A private, non-profit organization, the Windmill Alliance possesses a current 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, and is registered as a charitable organization with the NJ Department of Community Affairs. We are non-sectarian — all people are welcomed without discrimination. No religion is promoted; all are respected.
The Day Program
From its earliest days, Windmill Center has focused on helping clients learn skills that encourage their independence and enhance their self-esteem. Local businesses provide tasks that can be accomplished at the Center. Clients are able to engage in outside activities — going on field trips, learning to shop and enjoying a chance to eat out — that help them to practice social skills in the wider world. More recently, formal arts programs such as “Rainbow Thursday Art” have nurtured our clients’ creativity.
The success of the day center brought attention to the need for housing for developmentally disabled adults. In 1989, a Supportive Living Program began with two Windmill Center clients. Today, we have supervised apartments housing eleven residents with multiple physical and developmental challenges. A caring and dedicated staff looks after them twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Another part of Windmill’s outreach to the community is H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. (Helping Individuals Gain Hope Will Always Yield Success).; HIGHWAYS provides a variety of social services: emergency referrals; an emergency food bank; crisis intervention; counseling; and supportive employment training. It coordinates with other community food banks, and assists various homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters with supplies to support new beginnings.
- Nearly 700 people rely on our Food Bank each month
- HIGHWAYS is also known for its Thrift Shop which offers low cost items clothing, accesories, and home goods. The store is opened every day, Monday though Friday and on the first Saturday of the month. We rely on the donations of new or gently used items.
- Every summer, HIGHWAYS sponsors a backpack program, collecting school supplies for children whose parents may have difficulty providing them.
- More recently, HIGHWAYS has joined with Grace Lutheran Church of Bayonne to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Our aim is to help newcomers to improve their language and life skills in their new environment.
- A course to help individuals prepare for the citizenship exam is the latest offering of our joint ministry with Grace Church.
All the HIGHWAYS programs are sustained by the work of many dedicated volunteers who staff the Thrift Store, food bank and ESL program.
Amazon Smile: Another Way You Can Help
Are you an Amazon customer? If so, you can also help Windmill Alliance whenever you shop at Amazon. Just sign up for the Amazon Smile Program and a percentage of your purchases will be donated to Windmill. Use this link to sign in to Amazon and choose The Windmill Alliance as your charity of choice.
Once you've signed up, be sure to start your shopping at smile.amazon.com, so your purchases will be credited to Windmill. Happy shopping!
Our 30th Anniversary
In 2015, we celebrated our thirtieth year of operation. We look back with gratitude, knowing we could not have grown and flourished without the support of so many in the community: local business leaders, the various faith groups, charitable and civic organizations, local and state government, Trinity parishioners, family and friends.
We look forward to continuing to grow our mission as we break ground for the Hobart Housing project in 2017.
For more information on Windmill and H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S, visit the Windmill website at windmillalliance.org or our Facebook page.