Nami New Jersey seeks volunteers for a genetics study related to schizophrenia and related disorders. The study is designed to help determine the specific genetic variables responsible for these conditions and develop ways to detect and treat these illnesses.

They are seeking families with at least three members who have each been diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, or bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Family members can come from multiple generations, including siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. They must live in the U.S., be over 18 years old, and be willing to participate in the study.

The study includes a clinical interview and donation of a blood sample. The research assistant meets with the family member right in the home, or at a nearby place that is safe and convenient, to conduct the interview. Once completed, participants receive a check for $130. Visit E-mail or call 845-981-9514 for information.

Nominations Invited

VSA New Jersey, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities, is accepting applications for the 2015 Arts Achievement Awards and Art Par Excellence statewide touring exhibit.

Student arts excellence awards are presented to students with special needs (mainstreamed, inclusion, self-contained classes, or activities), 14 to 21 years old, not to exceed twelfth grade level, who show outstanding achievement in and commitment to an art form; and the education in the arts awards presented to outstanding educators and administrators for establishing high quality arts programs for students with special needs. The awards also recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to arts education for students with special needs. Award recipients become candidates for the distinguished NJ Governor’s Awards in Arts Education. Application deadline is Friday, January 23.

VSANJ is also accepting applications for the Art Par Excellence statewide touring art exhibit featuring two dimensional artwork by students with special needs through age 21. All schools in the state are invited to submit two works. Selected artists will have their work professionally displayed at prestigious locations throughout the state. The artists will be recognized at an opening reception with their families, teachers, and school administrators as invited guests. Application deadline is Monday, February 2.

VSA New Jersey is dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities. Statewide programming and services include arts education, professional development for educators, award competitions, exhibitions, festivals and performances. Call 732-745-3885 or E-mail for information.

Volunteer Please

Youth Stages seeks volunteers to help with the VSA NJ fall performance of “Peter Pan” with 16 adult actors with varying disabilities. They need volunteers to work backstage to assist the actors with entrances and exits so they do not miss cues and to help them with minor costume changes. Dates are Thursday, November 6; Monday, November 10; Tuesday, November 11; Wednesday, November 12; and Thursday, November 13. Call Jean Prall Rosolino at 609-430-9000 or E-mail for information.

The New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, is seeking volunteers at blood drives. Blood service volunteers assist donors with registration, handle escorting and canteen duties, and watch for post donation reactions. Volunteers should have the ability to relate to the public, be able to perform different jobs as needed, and have the willingness to follow the rules. For more information contact R. Jan Zepka at 732-616-8741 or

Haircuts for Veterans

Hair Cuttery salons will present local service men and women with a free haircut through its Share-A-Haircut program. For every adult who purchases a haircut on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, a haircut voucher will be given back to a veteran in need in that same community. Shops are located in West Windsor, Dayton, Hamilton, and North Brunswick. Visit for information.

Turkey Drive

JM Group and US Foods’ Turkey Drive 2014, benefitting Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, will be accepting donations through November 24. $10 donations can be made at Nassau Seafood and Produce Co., Blue Point Grill, Witherspoon Grill, or online at

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