Linking Initiative for Neighborhood Change

About Us

 

Founded in February 2022, the LINC Program aims to create a vast network of volunteers and resources to service the inequities across New Jersey. By connecting with organizations across the state and managing our own resource pantry, we are trying to do everything we can to support the underserved.

 

Find out more below!

 

Promoting Connectivity

Our goal is to serve as many people as possible. From small towns to big cities, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to support those in need. 

Currently, our service area can only include the following towns:

New Providence

Berkeley Heights

• Chatham

• Mountainside

• Long Hill

• Madison

• Gillette

Stirling

However, we are constantly trying to expand our outreach, and eventually hope to reach NJ cities like:

Newark

Elizabeth

Camden

West Orange

Together We Can

We hope to bring people of all ages together to fight resource inequity in NJ.

We get the youth all around us involved in projects where they can make a real difference. They’re enabled to foster leadership skills, responsibility, and initiative for change within their communities.

We are also a connection of organizations across New Jersey, and we support them with volunteers and resources that we acquire from supply drives on their behalf.

Starting the Conversation

We are trying to start an open discussion about homelessness, poverty, child hunger, and other systemic issues in New Jersey associated with resource inequity. We are working to introduce and/or educate about these problems through various mediums such as:

Speakers and assemblies

Speaking in local school districts

Social media information posts

Hosting & attending local events

Getting individuals involved in our projects

WE CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE

Obviously, the idea for a community outreach program isn’t
new. Our ideas aren’t novel or revolutionary, but they are
necessary. There can never be enough volunteers and never
enough projects to serve the less fortunate. We can be the
difference. Consider us a breath of fresh air working to inspire
others and make an impact on the lives of the underserved.
It may not have started with us, but we
can’t let it end with us.

Meet Our Team

Aidan Barth

Co-Founder & Co-President

Throughout what seems like my entire life, I’ve been volunteering through non-profit organizations like Our House Foundation for individuals with disabilities, my church, and whatever little projects around town I could get my hands on. When I entered high school, however, I found that most of the “community outreach” clubs that existed were just college application boosters, and didn’t really care about making a difference. It was then I realized there needed to be a fresh project with driven individuals backing it to bring about TRUE change; so I partnered with Abi to create it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Bruce Kennedy

Treasurer

After a 33-year career in Western Electric and Lucent Technologies holding
various management and staff positions, Bruce retired in 2001 to pursue his
personal interests. These included woodworking; household maintenance; land
and pool care for relatives; and reading science fiction. Bruce was and is an active member of the New Providence United Methodist Church handbell choir. This genesis of his church service led to his appointment as the New Providence United Methodist Church building manager in 2006 and treasurer in 2012, and he holds these positions to this day. Bruce’s experience with church finances and his relationships with the church’s local bank make him an amazing treasurer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Chris Torsiello

Director of

Volunteer Coordination

Chris, a new Providence native, became affiliated with the LINC Program through teaching art at New Providence high school. He helped active students contribute their time and efforts to community-based projects. In addition, he was vital to the Empty Bowls Project, where he instructed volunteers in the proper bowl-throwing and glazing techniques, and ultimately made the project a success. He graduated with a degree in art education from Kean University. Currently working as a digital art teacher, Chris strives to bring out the best in everybody, encourage teamwork, and inspire progressive thinking.

Chris’s teaching experience and creative talents make him an excellent resource to coordinate volunteer activities and leading them at the LINC Program’s events.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                      

Abigail Franco

Co-Founder & Co-President

My involvement with community service started as young as I can remember. Since my dad is a pastor, I was always reminded of the importance of giving growing up. Throughout my whole life I have been involved in clothing drives, food banks, Thanksgiving basket donations and Christmas toy collections. I have to admit when I was younger I did not really understand the work I was doing. My parents explained it to me like this – “You are blessed to give and it is your responsibility to help.”  The truth is that there are so many people struggling all around us that are constantly overlooked which is why I partnered with Aidan to create the LINC program.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Claire Stang

Secretary

          

Claire received a BA from New Jersey College for Women, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Seton Hall University, focusing on personnel and guidance. She went on to teach German and English, and worked as a guidance counselor in the Union County Regional School District. Claire was a charter member and president of the Woman’s Club of New Providence, and has been an active member in the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs and the General Federal of Women’s Club for 62 years. She was also a charter member, board member, and president of the New Providence Community Pool, a Den Mother for 9 years with Troop #61, and worked as an ombudsman for New Jersey. In the United Methodist Church, Claire has served as a past chairman and president of the Board of Trustees, and was a chairman of the staff & parish committee, but she currently serves as the secretary of the Church council.                                                 

Tom Franklin

Co-Director of

Project Management

Tom received a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State College, and a master’s degree from Kean University. He worked as a secondary mathematics teacher at South Plainfield High School. Tom has dedicated much of life to civic and community service as a councilman, commissioner of administration and finance, and police commissioner for the borough of Watchung, as a grant liaison for the Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and as the treasurer for the Watchung Democratic Committee. Tom is an animal lover, too, rescuing five dogs and a cat.

As one of our directors of project management, Tom puts his past leadership and community service experience to use, allowing us to develop and execute all of our events and other projects. 

 

 

Victor Franco

Vice President

Rev. Victor Franco is the Pastor of New Providence United Methodist Church. He has served in United Methodist churches in New Jersey for over 34 years. Pastor Franco graduated from Rutgers University in 1985 prior to completing a Masters of Divinity degree at Drew Theological School in 1988. He was ordained as a United Methodist Minister in 1990. In the past he was a Medical Explorer in the Boy Scouts, volunteered as an EMT on an emergency squad, was a certified CPR instructor, and served in the Coast Guard Reserve. Victor is married to his wife Stephanie, who is a Registered Nurse. They have been married for 33 years and have six children.                                                                                              Now, as our vice president, Victor utilizes his past experiences in community service and outreach to lead our team.                                                                              

Nadine Geoffroy

Director of Networking

& Communications

Nadine is a mother of three, and grandmother of one. Throughout her 27 year residency in New Providence, she has volunteered in the schools, churches, with the scouts and various sports for her children and for the betterment of residents in town. She is currently a member of the Borough Council serving as a liaison to the Diversity Committee, Municipal Alliance, Mental Health Advocacy and Education and other Borough committees. She is honored to be a part of this special team and hopes to use her experience to help spread the message and work of the LINC Program to all whom need it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Lynn Franklin

Co-Director of

Project Management

Lynn received a bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College, and a master’s degree from Kean University. She worked as an elementary school educator in the Cranford Public School system. Lynn has given her life to community and civic service, serving as the president of Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation, a former president of the Northern NJ chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, volunteer presenter for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance’s program, “Survivors Teaching Students,” and as a Watchung Democratic Committee Representative for District 4. Her service and extensive history of charitable giving has earned her various local humanitarian awards. Lynn is also an animal lover, rescuing five dogs and one cat.

Now, as one of our directors of project management, Lynn puts her past service to use to help us maximize our resources and come up with our new, creative events and drives.

 

Thank You To Our Partners!