Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the December 20, 2000 edition of
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
It’s that season again. For us it means taking a week
off from our normal publication schedule (no issue December 27, next
issue January 3), thanking all of you for your faithful readership
during the year (and hoping that you will stay with us in a
prosperous and healthy new year), and saluting the many people in
our community who give so much during the year to make things a little
better (see our annual Helping Hands feature beginning on page 17).
As always, we are astonished at how many people find time to do their
own jobs and then help someone else. What makes them do it? We asked
a woman who has been a volunteer and who now coordinates the efforts
of many volunteers. "Volunteering for a charity," says Theresa
Comprelli, "brings people out of their homes to a different type
of experience, so they get a different understanding of why people
are in need."
Comprelli directs Hands on Helpers, a community service organization
that has transformed volunteerism in Central New Jersey by setting
up an online database of volunteer opportunities. Before, when you
had the urge to get involved as a volunteer, you found your
by chance, by word of mouth, or from an article you read in the paper.
Now you can search on an interactive website, by computer or
Hands on Helpers (609-921-8893; fax, 609-921-8894,
shares office space at 120 John Street with Family and Children’s
Services of Central Jersey. The service is privately funded, and there
is no charge to the requesting organization or the volunteers.
At the website you will find an impressive list of volunteer
Search from the list of organizations, from the list of special
or by filling out a questionnaire. The questionnaire asks what times
you want to work (weekly? sporadically? Thursday nights?) and the
cause you hope to serve — 15 choices ranging from animals or the
environment to children or the elderly. Specify skills that you have
from a list of more than five dozen. You can even search on
for your company to work as a group.
One such search produced 75 viable opportunities, everything from
helping to break the cycle of poverty by tutoring homeless adults
at HomeFront, to operating the boiler for the Delaware River Steamboat
Floating Classroom project, to serving as a magazine room volunteer
at the Princeton Public Library.
Click on the description of an opportunity and get a complete rundown
of the organization’s mission, plus the skills and times that the
volunteer job calls for.
If you want to recruit volunteers, Hands on Helpers will help. "We
work with any group, from a small grass roots group such as the
Queen and King Society that uses African-American culture to empower
neighbors, all the way to Princeton Medical Center, that has hundreds
of volunteers," Comprelli says.
The daughter of a contractor and a guidance counselor — both of
whom continue to volunteer on their first aid squad in Hudson County,
Comprelli majored in health and human services at the University of
Buffalo, Class of 1992, and she directed the volunteer placement
there. From Rutgers she has a master’s degree in social work.
She has volunteered in a classroom for emotionally disturbed children,
and also with a community AIDS organization, and these experiences
were a dramatic influence on her life. "Twelve years later, I
understand that if you are a volunteer, you get a better understanding
of what the charity is about, where the donation goes, and how your
time helps. You get a much different understanding of why people are
in need, and you begin to see them as human beings instead of
Comprelli says the promise of technology lured her to this job.
my 10 years of working with nonprofits, technology was usually a
priority, and it was exciting to be able to use the Internet to
— Barbara Fox
The December 13 Survival Guide column, "Internet
Privacy? New P3P Guidelines" described the P3P computer privacy
standard being developed by AT&T, IBM, and Microsoft, which is
that P3P privacy protection will be included in Internet Explorer
My personal feeling is that this is an attempt by industry to prevent
the government from passing laws regarding on-line privacy, as has
been done in Europe, and to give the public a false sense of security.
Products and websites will use the P3P privacy standard (the "Good
Housekeeping Seal"), but outfits like Double Click will continue
to collect and sell personal data.
P3P appears to be an attempt by the industry to prevent legal privacy
suits against them. The P3P privacy seal will create a veneer of
protection that few users will understand and question. In the
it will slow down browser performance, probably cause many users to
have web access problems, and destroy what little remains of our
— Sol Libes
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