From back-to-school to holiday gift drives, Lisa Sodano works throughout the year to support children and families throughout New Jersey’s Heartland who find themselves in need. In recognition of her tireless efforts, Sodano was named New Jersey’s Heartland Hero for July of 2019.
Sodano is the administrator of Loving Families In Need Matter (Hope For the Disadvantaged). She created the organization to support families through a series of events staged during the course of the year, including a back-to-school drive that provides backpacks filled with school supplies to students who would otherwise go without. Her biggest and most successful annual event is her “Gift Giving” Christmas Party, which provides presents for more than 300 kids in the community.
Sodano’s organization is 100 percent supported through donations from local residents, businesses and sponsors. Through Hope for the Disadvantaged, she puts together essential living bags that contains hygiene supplies, food and day-to-day living necessities for those less fortunate. She does everything in her power to solicit donations to improve the lives of people in need, despite suffering from a medical condition that at times leaves her ill and hospitalized. Even during those down periods, Sodano draws on an inner strength, making calls from her hospital bed and working online to ensure she gets the donations and sponsorships needed to provide help and comfort to others.
While New Jersey’s Heartland is filled with hidden gems, its biggest treasures are the people who make the region a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. All Heartland Heroes receive a Heartland Heroes Certificate and Gift Basket in recognition of their award. To nominate your Heartland Hero, visit njheartland.org/live/heartland-heroes-nomination-form/.