HelpLightNJ Runs Program in Perth Amboy Community

PerthAmboyLetter-IconApril 14, 2015

Mr. Joseph Belko

Dear Mr. Belko:

On behalf of the City of Perth Amboy, Department of Human Services, Office on
Aging, I would like to express our appreciation for the recent program offered by
HelplightNJ to our city’s senior citizens on April 7, 2015. As you can imagine, our
clients, who are amongst our communities most vulnerable residents, live on a
restricted income and are affected greatly by the rising costs of utility bills. The
bulbs made available for purchase were not only cost effective but will help them
save in their utility bills. It is through these type of partnerships that we are able
to better serve the residents of our city.

Just as important, we would like to thank the youth/students, who played a key role
in helping to make the event possible and all the volunteers/staff that were on hand
to assist with the Lighting Fair.

As mentioned previously, we are very interested in hosting another Lighting Fair
for our residents. On Saturday, June 27th the City will be hosting a festival on
Smith Street (Train Station parking lot) starting at 12:00 p.m. Please let me know
as soon as possible if HelplightNJ would be able to join us to sell the bulbs.

Once again, I commend you, the students and HelplightNJ and look forward to
hearing back from you regarding June 27th.

Very truly yours,

Dianne Roman, Supervisor
Office on Aging
Xc; Kenneth Ortiz, Director, DHS

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HelpLightNJ returns to Greenbriar at Wittingham for first LED Distribution


HelpLightNJ returns to Greenbriar at Wittingham for first LED Distribution

December 10, 2014 – On December 10th HelpLightNJ launched their first distribution as part of the 2014-2015 NJ Clean Energy Creative Outreach program.  It was a fitting launch for HelpLight’s launch into the new Creative Outreach award focused on LED technology, , as it was the last distribution HelpLight made in 2010 of CFL lamps.  Greenbriar is an active adult community with over 1,600 homes and over 3,000 residents.  jim Penzias, a Greenbriar resident long active in spreading the word about energy efficiency was once again instrumental at setting up the event. The New Jersey Clean Energy Outreach Team is a grassroots program created, directed and funded by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program.  Through this program residents are educated about how to reduce energy use and help protect the environment.

For more information contact:

Joseph Belko

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HelpLightNJ once again is part of the New Jersey Clean Energy Outreach Team!

Hlnj-Oct15HelpLightNJ once again is part of the New Jersey Clean Energy Outreach Team!

December 15, 2014 – HelpLightNJ was founded in November 2007 by high school students Matthew Erickson, John Caddock and Paula Pilipovic. They brought their ideas together to find a way to fight global warming on a local level. These 3 founders have led and inspired others to take action in the fight as well.  Since 2007 not only have all 3 graduated high school but all have recently graduated from college and have moved on to developing their careers.

While Matthew Erickson remains as an adviser, a new group of students have heeded the call and stepped in to continue the tradition of service.  Joe Belko (Wall Township High School), Matthew Renzo and Dominic Heise (Watchung Hills Regional High School) are now each tasked with the continued development of HelpLightNJ.  “We were fortunate enough to have recently received a grant from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program” said Belko.  He added that what is most exciting about our ability to continue is that we have moved from distributing Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) to Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s).  While CFL’s save a ton of energy and last a lot longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, LED’s last even longer and save even more energy.  The downside to LED’s, as was the case with CFL’s 7 years ago, is that they are expensive and that has been a barrier to their acceptance.  Belko says ” thanks to our grant from New Jersey Clean Energy we have effectively addressed the number one barrier”.

Beginning in December of 2014, HelpLightNJ will once again begin offering discounted energy saving light bulbs to local Senior Centers and Housing projects throughout NJ.

As in the past, HelpLightNJ believes that students throughout the country can make a difference bringing efficient lighting to others in need.

For more information contact:

Joseph Belko

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Joseph Belko To Lead HelpLight NJ

Joseph Belko To Lead HelpLight NJ


Green Organization taps Monmouth County teenager to continue local global warming advocacy

Red Bank, N.J. – November 5, 2014 – Joseph Belko will lead HelpLight NJ as the organization renews its efforts to promote energy conservation and reduce energy consumption throughout the state, announced the charitable organization today.  HelpLight NJ works to inspire teens to take action in the fight against global warming while helping the underserved in hopes of creating a better earth.

“Joe is a born leader,” said Matthew Erickson, HelpLight NJ co-founder.  “He has innovative ideas well beyond his 13 years and the passion to teach and help others.  He’s the perfect fit for our organization.”

The Green Organization supplies low-income families with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to help them save energy costs and fight global warming.  Members of the organization have also worked to encourage all New Jersey citizens to switch to CFL bulbs in their homes and businesses.  Since its inception in 2007, HelpLight NJ has donated 190,000 CFL bulbs, which will save more than $14 million in energy costs and reduce CO2 release by over  166 million pounds.

Belko will be responsible for identifying and contacting various aid organizations throughout the state to help coordinate the distribution of the CFL bulbs.  He will also apply for grants, raising money for additional bulbs for future distributions, and will be the primary spokesperson for HelpLight NJ, working to educate recipients on the benefits of using energy conserving light bulbs.  One of Belko’s primary goals is to grow the organization by recruiting, training and mentoring new members.

“I’m really excited to have a leadership role with an organization as important as HelpLight NJ,” said Belko.  “Over the next year and throughout my high school career, I’ll work hard to increase the number of bulbs distributed.  We’ll look to educate as many people as possible – in hopes of making the world a better place for my generation.”

Belko enters the 8th grade this month at a NJ Intermediate School in Wall Township, NJ.  He excels in lacrosse, playing for Team United Lacrosse and Wall Lacrosse Club.  He remains active in the community through his work with the Boy Scouts.  Belko’s additional interests include fishing, surfing and construction.

# # #

About HelpLight NJ

HelpLightNJ ( works to inspire teens to take action in the fight against global warming while teaching the values of energy conservation and helping the underserved in hopes of creating a better earth.  Since its inception in 2007, the organization has donated 190,000 compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which will save more than $14 million in energy costs and reduce CO2 release by over 166 million pounds.  HelpLight NJ was founded by John Caddock, Matthew Erickson and Paula Pilipovic.

For more information contact:

Joseph Belko

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HelpLightNJ Distributes Energy Saving Light Bulbs To 1,600 Residents Of Greenbriar at Whittingham

On July 14th, HelpLightNJ distributed energy saving light bulbs to 1,600 residents of Greenbriar at Wittingham.  These close to 10,000 energy saving bulbs will save the residents over $640,000 in energy costs over their life!  Monroe mayor Richard Pucci was on hand at the event. The distribution was a success thanks to Jim Penzias, who worked for several months with the HelpLightNJ team to collect the required documentation, and to spread the word.

On July 14th, HelpLightNJ distributed energy saving light bulbs to 1,600 residents of Greenbriar at Whittingham. These close to 10,000 energy saving bulbs will save the residents over $640,000 in energy costs over their life! Monroe mayor Richard Pucci was on hand at the event. The distribution was a success thanks to Jim Penzias, who worked for several months with the HelpLightNJ team to collect the required documentation, and to spread the word.










GreenBriar at Whittingham ArticleGoing Green: Free CFL Bulb Sampler for GW Residents
By Jim Pendas

In 2008, a group of New Jersey students from MaterDei High School set out to teach the world about energy conservation. They started raising funds to buy Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and distribute the bulbs to low-income families and seniors, saving them money on their electrical bill while conserving energy.

HelpLightNJ was born and has become part of the New Jersey Green Resource Team, which is funded by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. In turn, the Green New Jersey Resource Team gives groups across the state the resources to distribute ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs, and to educate New Jersey residents on how to save energy and money, and help protect the environment with energy efficient lighting.

Each unit in GW will receive a free box of six CFL bulbs. Arrangements have been made for the high school students to make a presentation at the Residents Civics Club July 14 meeting. The schedule of distribution of the CFLs will be announced at that time.

HelpLightNJ has distributed CFL bulbs to residents of Rossmoor, Clearbrook and Greenbriar at Oceannaire. The students have distributed over 20,000 bulbs so far this year with a goal of distributing a total of 60,000, making a large impact on saving energy in New Jersey.

We can all do our part by using these CFLs to replace incandescent bulbs in our homes. Please consider replacing all the bulbs in your home, not just the six which will be provided by the students. Visit the online store at to see the wide variety of bulbs available. These CFLs are offered at a reduced cost as part of the BPU rebate program.

Most of the funding for this program comes via the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The source of these funds is the “Societal Benefits Charge” shown on your utility bill. This money is used to fund some 14 BPU sponsored energy savings programs such as the Green New Jersey Resource Team.

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HelpLight NJ receives the Presidents Award For Community Service!


Congratulations on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community and our country.

In my Inaugural Address, I stated that we need a new era of responsibility – a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our Nation, and the world. These are duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task. Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.

Our Nation faces the most challenging economic crisis in a lifetime. We will only renew America of we all work together. Individuals, the private sector, and government must combine efforts to make real and lasting change so that each person has the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential.

While government can open more opportunities for us to serve our communities, it is up to each of us to seize those opportunities. Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.

Barack Obama

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HelpLightNJ Wins 2009 New Jersey Governors Award for Environmental Excellence!

John, Paula, and Matt with Gov. Jon Corzine

NJ Governor Jon S. Corzine awarded HelpLightNJ the 2009 Governors Award for Environmental Excellence at his official residence in Princeton NJ.













2009 Governors Award Letter Icon

Dear Award Winners:

Congratulations on being selected as a winner of the 2009 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards.

These awards provide a wonderful opportunity to recognize programs, projects and individuals that embody the talent, dedication and creativity essential to improving environmental quality in our state.

I am pleased to be hosting this event and celebrating your accomplishments with you tonight.

Sincerely, Jon S. Corzine

Related Video AvailableClick here to watch a video of the award ceremony.

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Many Schools Have Already Joined HelpLight NJ. Your School Can Too!

Many schools have already taken action and joined HelpLight NJ’s cause. You can, too! Your participation can make a huge difference to communities all over the state. We have seen the results first hand. HelpLight NJ was founded by Matt Erickson, John Caddock, and Paula Pilipovic in 2007 at Mater Dei High School. Since then, 17 other schools have joined our cause. Together we have distributed over 82,000 Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. We plan on moving forward in our mission, fighting global warming, helping people in need, and promoting the benefits of energy conservation. It is truly amazing what the actions of just a few people can accomplish. As we continue to grow, the opportunities to point people towards making positive changes are endless!

Your school can be a part of this. If you are interested in joining us, read Paula Pilipovic’s invitation letter and then send an e-mail to Paula at:

In the meantime, there are several sections of this website that can help you learn about who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. Here are some good places to start:
Who Is HelpLight NJ?
What We Do
How Can You Help?
Schools Who’ve Already Joined Us!
Partners (The company’s and organizations that believe in our cause!)

In addition to that, you can see what we’ve already accomplished by taking a look at some of these:
Where We’ve Been (Map showing all our CFL distributions.)
Where We’ll Be (Calender showing upcoming and past events and distributions.)
Community Relationships (Photos and letters from our past events and distributions.)
Media (Newspaper articles, TV interviews, promotional videos, and more!)

School Bus Icon

Now we’d like to take this opportunity to share some letters we’ve received from some of our new member schools!


Brick High School LetterColts Neck High SchoolHolmdel High SchoolManasquan High School LetterRed Bank Catholic High SchoolUnion City High School Letter

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Thank You To All The New HelpLight NJ Member Schools!

HelpLightNJ-Letter-IconDear All:

I would like to personally thank all of the schools that have already joined our cause. It is incredible to witness the extent of our success and the passion and dedication with which our new partners have entered into our  enterprise.

In lieu of this, I would like to extend our invitation and call to excellence further. For those schools that have yet to join, I encourage you to take the first step. It is amazing what individuals can accomplish with a common goal. Matt, John, and I were able to make a huge difference just by ourselves, saving residents almost 10 million dollars off their bills and cutting carbon gas emissions by 822 million pounds so far this year. We have seen the effects of our work first hand. We have heard the profuse gratitude and the thank you’s. We have heard the exclamations “Now I don’t have to use candles anymore!” If the three of us can make such a momentous contribution to reducing energy use in New Jersey, how much of a difference can every New Jersey student make?

The task is simple: contribute to your community. Don’t just take, give back as well. Whether you decide to join us, or start you own project, I implore you to take action. Make a contribution. Raise money. Donate items. Promote education. The world can become a better place, but it is up to us to make the change. The world has taken its turn, now it is your move. What can you accomplish?

Paula Pilipovic

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New Jersey Clean Energy Outreach Partner of the Year – HelpLight NJ!

Commissioner Asselta presents Matt Erickson, John Caddock, and Paula Pillipovic of Help Light NJ with the 2009 New Jersey Clean Energy Leadership Award in the category of Outreach Partner of the Year!

Commissioner Asselta presents Matt Erickson, John Caddock, and Paula Pillipovic of Help Light NJ with the 2009 New Jersey Clean Energy Leadership Award in the category of Outreach Partner of the Year!








NJ Board Of Public UtilitiesOutreach Partner of the Year – HelpLight NJ

The Outreach Award recognizes efforts to build awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures by extending the message of clean energy to a wide audience in the hope of influencing others to make wise energy decisions that reduce our impact on climate change.

“HelpLight NJ was organized by a group of high school students to raise money for the purchase and distribution of over 60,000 energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs to needy families and seniors. In addition to the work they’ve done in their own community, the group headed out across the state to inspire and engage other high school students, recruiting 19 schools to participate. This organization embodies the goals of the Energy Master Plan, spreads the important message of energy efficiency, provides New Jersey’s neediest families with the tools to save energy and money, and connects them with the state’s assistance programs, as well,” said Commissioner Asselta. He then presented Matt Erikson of HelpLight NJ with the Outreach Partner of the Year Award.

HelpLight NJ Print AdHelpLight NJ Has a Bright Idea for Helping People Save Energy. Let their Shining Example Inspire you, too!

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program(TM) recognize HelpLight NJ – winner of the 2009 Clean Energy Outreach Partner of the Year.

HelpLight NJ is a charitable organization created by three high school students with a primary goal of raising funds to help the area’s low income families save money through the use of energy efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. After partnering with New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, HelpLight NJ was able to deliver over 140,000 CFL bulbs, which will save over $9 million in energy costs as well as avoiding the release of 166 million pounds of CO2. Through its successful outreach program, HelpLight NJ has also recruited 19 partner schools to help in their worthwhile cause.

Find out how your municipality or business can benefit from clean energy financing and incentive programs available through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program at:

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HelpLight NJ

HelpLight NJ Group Photo

HelpLight NJ Group Photo

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HelpLight NJ Receives an Environmental Award for Lending a Helping Hand in New Jersey

Microsoft Word - HelpLight NJ Receives an Environmental Award foHelpLight NJ Receives an Environmental Award for Lending a Helping Hand in New Jersey

(New York, N.Y.) Thousands of low income households in New Jersey received a helping hand in lowering their electric bills thanks to this year’s ENERGY STAR award winner, HelpLight NJ. The volunteer organization raised money to purchase and distribute 60,000 compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs to needy families and seniors. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have partnered to honor HelpLight NJ with the 2009 Regional ENERGY STAR Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing. HelpLight NJ, founded by three high school students, provided 10,000 families with six CFLs each, for a total estimated energy cost savings of $4 million.

“We applaud HelpLight NJ on the fantastic job it is doing to facilitate energy savings and minimize utility costs for families that can use the extra help,” said George Pavlou, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2. “HelpLight NJ stands as a model of the potential young people have in making beneficial changes in the environment and their local community.”

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