Trenton-Burlington New Vision Pioneers life member president Mary Ann Goodrich (left center, holding envelope) receives a donation to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen from Joanne Paul on behalf of Title Evolution at the Town and Country Diner Feb. 14, 2019. (Staff photo by Samantha Sciarrotta.)

Alexander Graham Bell established the concept of pioneering in promote fellowship and community service within the telephone workforce. Now, 100 years later, the Trenton-Burlington Life Member chapter of the New Vision Pioneers—also known as the Telephone Pioneers of America—aims to carry on that mission.

The group, led by president Mary Ann Goodrich, a Bordentown resident, meets once a month at the Town and Country Diner for lunch, socialization and a meeting. All are former employees of the telephone industry.

They often discuss new or ongoing service projects, and there are many. This year, they’ve collected backpacks filled with personal care items for children, donated handmade hats for infants to Capital Health in Hopewell and provided items and a monetary donation to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. The group also works with local police departments to make and donate Hug-A-Bears, stuffed animals that are given to children during a point of crisis.

“The work continues, and we all have the good feeling that goes with helping others,” Goodrich said.

This year, one of the group’s main projects is assembling birthday party kits—including cake mix, icing, candles, paper cups, a festive table cloth, a birthday banner, napkins and an aluminum pan in a gift bag—for children whose families may not be able to afford a celebration. Title Evolution, a business based in Bordentown, provided $300 to get the project off the ground.

“We have fun, yes,” Goodrich said. “Good lunch, absolutely. But more than that, we have likeminded folks who care about others and are always willing to extend a kind word to each other.”

The New Vision Pioneers meet once a month at the Town and Country Diner. For more information or to attend a meeting, call Joyce Reed at (609) 882-7973 or visit newvisionpioneers.org.