3,200 New Winter Coats Distributed to Kids through the South Jersey Funder Collaborative’s “Operation Warm Up Jersey Shore” in Partnership with Fulfill, Better Education for Kids, Inc., and Operation Warm

This winter, 3,200 children in Monmouth and Ocean Counties will be wearing new warm winter coats funded by and distributed through the South Jersey Funder Collaborative’s “Operation Warm Up Jersey Shore” held in partnership with Fulfill, Operation Warm and Better Education for Kids.

Over two picture-perfect November days, hundreds of families attended drive-thru events at Fulfill in Neptune and the Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River. Both events were organized and carried out by distribution partner, Fulfill. Fulfill also provided each household with a meal kit including holiday favorites cookies and hot chocolate. Community volunteers and staff affiliated with the funding partners, Fulfill, and the Church of Grace and Peace did the heavy lifting loading the meal kits and coats into participants vehicles.

“There is no better way to harness the power of philanthropy in South Jersey than working with our friends in the region’s philanthropic community on this tremendous effort. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, these coats will bring more than just warmth to South Jersey’s littlest neighbors, they will bring comforting feelings of security and hope during these uncertain times.” stated Andy Fraizer, Executive Director at the Community Foundation of South Jersey.

The southern New Jersey funders collaborating to bring “Operation Warm Up Jersey Shore” to Monmouth and Ocean Counties include The Citta Foundation; Community Foundation of South Jersey; Grunin Foundation; OceanFirst Foundation; Pascale Sykes Foundation; United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and the Wintrode Family Foundation & Causeway Family of Dealerships with 100% match funding provided by Better Education for Kids, Inc. and coats provided by Operation Warm, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing warmth, confidence and hope for children in need through the gift of brand-new coats.

Jeremy Grunin, President, Grunin Foundation said “Improving the quality of life for all members of our community is the driving force of our mission. We are proud to support Operation Warm and collaborate with our partners, so we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of others, especially during the pandemic when the need is even greater.”

About Operation Warm:

Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that manufactures brand-new, high-quality coats for children in need. We partner with compassionate individuals, community organizations, and corporations across North America to provide emotional warmth, confidence to socialize and succeed, and hope of a brighter future through the gift of a brand-new coat.  Over the last 20 years, Operation Warm and our partners have used the coat as a bridge for families in need to access everything from flu shots to new books. To make a lasting impact on the lives of children, visit www.operationwarm.org

About Better Education for Kids, Inc.

Better Education for Kids, Inc. (B4K) is an independent voice for common-sense education reform in New Jersey.  B4K stands for the proposition that the first priority of the New Jersey public school system must be the best interests of New Jersey students, not the special interests that dominate the status quo. To this end, every class must have an effective teacher and every school an effective principal, and teachers and principals should be given the necessary training and resources to be effective.  Public policy and all administrative and personnel policies should support these goals. Parents must be empowered with access to data and other information to hold educators, leaders, and elected officials accountable for their performance.

About The Citta Foundation:

The Citta Foundation has aided nonprofit organizations within Ocean County since 1987. The Citta Foundation strives to improve and strengthen initiatives focused on education, health, human services and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide valuable services within the local communities.

About Community Foundation of South Jersey:

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) supports and encourages local giving by managing and deploying permanent charitable assets and facilitating collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ currently manages more than $23 million in donor-advised funds and other assets and has issued $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.

About Fulfill:

Fulfill has served an additional 2.5 million meals to our neighbors in need since the pandemic hit our area. The 501(c)3 nonprofit, has been providing food for families, children, seniors, and veterans in Monmouth and Ocean Counties for more than thirty years. Fulfill has nearly 300 feeding agencies, including pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. Fulfill also provides additional services to help our neighbors improve their overall situation. Fulfill assists with tax preparation, SNAP (food stamps) benefits, affordable housing, and, before the pandemic, with job training in our culinary program. To donate or volunteer, go to fulfillnj.org.

About Grunin Foundation 

The Grunin Foundation is a private family philanthropic foundation with a mission to improve the quality of life for all members of our community by using philanthropy to drive economic excellence at the Central Jersey Shore. They believe that access to the arts, abundant educational opportunities and quality healthcare options helps to create a vibrant and thriving economic ecosystem. They identify organizations to implement projects in the sectors of the arts, education, and healthcare, that are innovative, have a measurable impact and drive economic growth. For more information, visit www.gruninfoundation.org.

About OceanFirst Foundation:

OceanFirst Foundation empowers organizations to think bigger, solve more problems, and make life better in the neighborhoods served by OceanFirst Bank. OceanFirst Foundation’s priorities include Health & Wellness, Housing, Improving the Quality of Life, Youth Development and Education. Since 1996, OceanFirst Foundation has awarded more than 8,000 grants totaling more than $42 million to over 900+ local charities and schools. Learn more at oceanfirstfdn.org.

About Pascale Sykes Foundation:

Pascale Sykes Foundation supports working low income families by funding collaborative efforts using the Whole Family Approach. Collaborations work with entire families so all family members are involved in setting goals to achieve financial stability, strengthened relationships and comprehensive wellness, thus reaching their full potential.

About United Way of Monmouth & Ocean Counties:

United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties mobilizes donors, volunteers and community partners to improve the lives of youth and their families. The organization works to ensure that every child is successful, every family is financially stable, and every community it serves is stronger. To learn more about United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, please visit uwmoc.org.

About the Wintrode Family Foundation & Causeway Family of Dealerships:

The Causeway Family of Dealerships is owned and operated by the Wintrode Family. We have been serving Ocean County since 1969. Serving the Ocean County non-profit community is the heart of the Causeway Family.