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Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories

Salvation Army Camden Kroc Center Enlists South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund Grant to Provide Food Assistance

Haddonfield, NJ – The Community Foundation of South Jersey made a $5,000 grant to the Salvation Army Kroc Center from the South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund. With support from CFSJ and others, the Kroc Center has provided tens of thousands worth of grocery items and food to local residents since the pandemic onset. 

The Salvation Army New Jersey Division has experienced a four hundred percent increase in families seeking aid, including food, statewide.  

In order to meet the demand, The Salvation Army opened three warehouses located in Vineland, Red Bank, and Newark. At these locations, they receive and store food from New Jersey food banks in bulk. 

“We are so thankful that the Community Foundation of South Jersey was able to help fund our organization and support our families in need,” said Kroc Center Administrator Major Terry Wood, “The pandemic is not only an economic crisis but a mental health crisis caused by the stress residents are feeling.  We are working hard to help alleviate some of that stress as we provide help and hope. This grant surely helps.”

“Food access is a basic need. With the COVID-19 Response Fund, we prioritized these triage needs,” said CFSJ Executive Director Andy Fraizer. “Now, more than ever, nonprofits such as the Kroc Center need help, and we are so proud of our South Jersey neighbors for stepping up to the challenge and providing the money needed to make our COVID-19 response possible.”

The South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund continues to assist local nonprofits that need support in order to serve communities impacted by the pandemic.

To date, the Fund has raised over $1 million, but this is not enough to meet the overwhelming need.  Since March, CFSH has gotten over $6 million in grant requests.  

If you would like to support the only such Fund where donations stay in our South Jersey region, please visit www.southjerseyresponsefund.org.

About The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden

The 120,000 square-foot Salvation Army Kroc Center redefines what a community center is all about.

This extraordinary facility houses an array of education, sports, faith, arts, and other support programs never before assembled under one roof in the City of Camden.  

The Kroc Center ministry, as well as the building itself, has been designed to stimulate the mind, body and spirit, to provide hope, and to transform lives within the community.  

It is a dynamic regional asset that is open and accessible to all.  For more information about the Center or to donate directly, please visit www.camdenkroccenter.org.

About the Community Foundation of South Jersey

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving, where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give.

The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.

By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all.

Currently, CFSJ manages assets of more than $23 million. CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at www.CommunityFoundationSJ.org.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Sleeves for Support to Benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities

CAMDEN, NJ — Local McDonald’s restaurants will offer a new way to help Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey with the addition of the Sleeves for Support program.

This campaign was developed in partnership with Coca-Cola and will generate funding for RMHC through sales of insulated beverage sleeves specifically designed to hold 30-ounce cups from McDonald’s. Sleeves are now available for purchase at $5 each while supplies last at participating restaurants (with a minimum of $2.50 of the proceeds benefitting RMHC).

“We’re excited to partner with Coca-Cola to aid RMHC, an organization that improves the care, comfort, and health of local children,” said Local South Jersey McDonald’s Owner/Operator, John Durante. “Our customers can use these insulated sleeves keep their favorite McDonald’s drinks colder longer, and support families in the area at the same time!”

Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey is supported by the local chapter of RMHC: RMHC of the Philadelphia Region. RMHC of the Philadelphia Region is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that receives its support from the owner/operators of more than 300 McDonald’s Restaurants in the region. These regions include the greater Philadelphia area, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey is one of over 370 Houses in 43 countries which support families of seriously ill children by creating a community of comfort and hope.

The Sleeves for Support program is just one of the many ways McDonald’s supports RMHC and these programs.

These initiatives, paired with direct donations made at local McDonald’s restaurants, ensure that no family is ever turned away due to inability to pay and children facing serious diagnoses and their families receive the care they need. McDonald’s continues to support RMHC through monetary contributions, volunteerism, and board participation, helping RMHC to impact thousands of lives annually.

ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY 

More than 370 Houses around the world, offers Hope, Help and Home to critically ill children and their families. For more than 35 years, RMHSNJ has been a “home away from home” for more than 29,000 families whose children are receiving life-saving treatments for critical illnesses and traumatic injuries.

Each year, approximately 700 families hail from many foreign countries and every state in the US. Located in the heart of Camden, RMHSNJ is staffed 24 hours a day with a small staff and hundreds of volunteers.

The house has 25 spacious bedroom suites, each with a unique theme such as Animal Friends, Sesame Street, Harry Potter and the Phillies. RMHSNJ also operates eleven Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in Southern New Jersey hospitals with large pediatric units.

For more information on RMHSNJ go to www.ronaldhouse-snj.org.

ABOUT McDONALD’S McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries.

Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local businessmen and women.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Halloween is Happening at DiDonato’s

Hammonton, NJ – DiDonato Family Fun Center, located on the White Horse Pike in Hammonton, is excited to announce the return of a Halloween favorite: ALL-A-BOO DiDonato’s Trick-or-Treat Train, a Halloween-inspired experience that is totally outdoors for 2020. This little goblin-friendly Halloween outdoor experience will leave the whole family laughing and gasping for more. Tricks, treats, and surprises are included for kids and grownups.  

In the little-goblin friendly Halloween town, guests will ride along Rolling Railway, where, as always at DiDonato’s, each family has their own train car! Families are invited to find their way through a hay maze created just for DiDonato’s, choose their own special pumpkin from our patch to bring home, enjoy endless fun on the 19 foot tall Big Kahuna slide and enjoy an individually-wrapped treat at the Snack and Toy Cottage by Toy Market, a locally-owned toy shop in Hammonton and Smithville. The newest edition for 2020 is endless play, climbing, imagination-building, and fun on DiDonato’s custom-made, interactive train, and more. 

DiDonato’s Trick-or-Treat Train will board September 25, 26, 27, and October 2-4, 9-12, 16-18, 23-25 starting at 12:00pm.  

Tickets are available for $10.95 per person online at www.didonatofuncenter.com.  

Steve DiDonato, owner of DiDonato Family Fun Center said, “We feel like we all need a little good news for Fall! We have been working since March on a plan to keep your family safe while still having fun and creating memories. DiDonato’s will be open for our Trick-or-Treat Train this September & October for a totally outdoor event from check-in, to the pumpkin patch, train ride, & more. We can’t wait to celebrate with you in a unique-to-2020 way!” 

Introduced to DiDonato Family Fun Center in 2016, Rolling Railway is a year-round outdoor attraction with unique Holiday experiences. DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express hosts visitors from up and down the East Coast. An Easter-themed experience was also launched in 2017. 

DiDonato Family Fun Center puts a new spin on an old favorite. Established in 1952, and completely renovated and expanded in 2014, DiDonato’s created a definitive hot spot by combining an upscale bowling experience, uniquely delicious food and drinks at the Alley Bar and Grille, modern and distinct décor, all while having activities for the whole family.  

DiDonato Family Fun Center is located at 1151 S. White Horse Pike in Hammonton. 

For more information visit www.didonatofuncenter.com or www.facebook.com/didonatofuncenter or call 609-561-3040 or email steve@didonatofuncenter.com. 

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Bright Side Recent News

Community Medical Center Foundation Receives COVID-19 Response Grant From The Community Foundation of South Jersey

Haddonfield, NJ – The Community Medical Center Foundation’s (CMCF) mission is to support the programs and services provided by Community Medical Center in Toms River. Using a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ), CMCF is helping the hospital offset the increased need for personal protective equipment (PPE), structural changes to combat the virus, and supplies.

For more than 55 years, Community Medical Center has been a trusted acute-care hospital offering state-of-the-art health and wellness services dedicated to the health and well-being of the Ocean County community.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Medical Center has invested heavily in PPE, equipment rentals such as ventilators and tents, prescription drugs, maintenance, repairs, and the creation of negative pressure rooms for COVID-19 positive patients.  

“Every contribution, regardless of size, will help during this time of need as we confront the effects of the global pandemic,” said CMCF Vice President Jennifer Shufran. “Ensuring the safe treatment of COVID-19 patients is quite expensive.  Health centers throughout our region are facing financial challenges, so we are grateful to CFSJ for this vital grant.  It will help save lives.”

“The hospital workers on the frontline fighting this virus need our support, and we are glad to be able to do our part to help these workers and keep them safe,” said CFSJ Executive Director Andy Fraizer. “The work Community Medical Center is doing to save lives and protect the community is admirable.”

The Community Medical Center has tested over 9,000 individuals in addition to an initiative to test all long-term care facilities in the area.  Community Medical Center has been able to discharge more than 550 COVID-19 patients who beat the virus and were healthy enough to go home.

The Community Foundation of South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund continues to respond to local nonprofits that need support to serve communities impacted by the pandemic.  

To date, the Fund has received more than $1 million in donations but more is needed.  

If you would like to support the only such Fund where donations stay in our South Jersey region, click here.

Community Medical Center Foundation

Community Medical Center (CMC), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is dedicated to advancing the quality of life and health of the greater Ocean County region by providing safe, high quality care. CMC is a fully accredited acute care hospital and maintains national accreditations in multiple specialty areas. Highly sophisticated services, not typically found in a community hospital, include advanced cancer, cardiac, emergency, maternity and neurology care, as well as cutting edge surgical care. Patients have access to advanced technology including the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical platform, Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System for joint replacement procedures and state-of-the-art imaging technology.

RWJBarnabas Health and CMC, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials.

The J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at CMC features one of the most sophisticated linear accelerators used for radiation therapy, a CyberKnife for treating inoperable tumors and holistic therapies to care for the whole person. CMC provides a broad array of health and wellness programs designed to help people achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and optimal health.

For more information about CMCF or to donate, click here.

Community Foundation of South Jersey

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give. The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.

By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all.

Currently, CFSJ manages assets of more than $23 million. CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships.

Learn more about CFSJ by clicking here.

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Bright Side Recent News

Jewish Family Service Launches Two New Programs

Margate, NJ (August 4, 2020) – At Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, we strive to offer innovative programs and services for clients.

Bridges to Employment and HEDS Case Management reflect our agency’s commitment to further assisting community residents with critical support to help empower their lives. 

In the current economic environment, many teenagers and young adults are struggling to secure steady employment. These challenges are intensified by the presence of a disability which may impact how someone interviews, how employable they are seen or their transportation options.

In May, JFS implemented the Bridges program for out-of-school youth and young adults, ages 16 to 24, who have a disability (learning or mental health challenges) from the Atlantic City area. Currently, JFS Vocational Case Managers provide comprehensive services to help 30 participants and their families navigate the sometimes overwhelming transition from high school into the workforce or advanced education. The program provides individualized guidance and support to connect a client to job training, apprenticeships, certification programs and more. Or, if the client is looking to further their education or join the military, JFS will assist in those avenues. In addition, the Bridges program offers financial literacy education, transportation and benefits counseling to clients.

As Dr. Nina Stolzenberg, JFS Director of Vocational Services shared, “According to the Institute for Community Inclusion, based at the University of Massachusetts, only 33.7% of working-age adults with disabilities are employed, compared with 72.9% of people without disabilities. For working-age adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, the number plunges to 16%.”  Given the opportunity, many of these individuals can and want to work. JFS Bridges to Employment supports them in doing so.”

As the state continues to pioneer programs to reduce incarceration levels amongst our youth, the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division has created the Home Electronic Detention System (HEDS) Case Management Program, which serves as an alternative to the established detention program.

With the HEDS Case Management Program, Case Managers work closely with a court-designated youth to identify, develop and achieve individual goals. In doing so, the program shows the court system that the youth is diligently working to reduce any technical violations and enhance their future. The Case Manager offers professional support, insight and an array of dedicated services including the development of skills – problem solving, better communication, anger management resolution and more. In addition, the client receives connections and referrals to other professionals or resources in the community to further develop their personal and professional abilities. They also have access to transportation, vocational assistance, and advocacy at a court disposition.

“With the HEDS Case Management Program, JFS staff provide support and psychoeducation as well as assist in developing resources for youth in the program and reduce racial disparity of youth involved in the juvenile justice system,” said Naomi Jones, Ph.D., Senior Director of Outpatient Services. 

The program also provides family support to further educate parents and/or guardians about the court process and available peer support with other families experiencing similar situations.

JFS was also awarded funding for the Resilient Youth Program, a trauma-informed emotional regulation group treatment for youth age 17 or younger who have begun to engage in low-level delinquent behavior and are at-risk of continued involvement in the Juvenile Justice System.

For more information on the Bridges program, contact Mike O’Brien, JFS Vocational Services Supervisor, at 609.703.3037 or mobrien@jfsatlantic.org.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities. With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry. The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.