Community Foundation of New Jersey

Impact 100 Awards $205,000 in Grants Aimed at Poverty

November 6, 2015

Impact 100 Garden State (“Impact 100″), a Morristown- based women’s philanthropic organization, awarded over $200,000 in grants to the Head Start Community Program of Morris County and the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) to support programs that help the elderly poor, disenfranchised young adults, and pre-school children from low-income families.

Impact 100’s 205 members voted to award each organization a $102,500 grant at its annual members meeting on November 4 at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge. The organizations were selected from over 75 nonprofit applicants.

The Impact 100 grant will fund NJCDC’s FreePair Paterson Program, which will combat poverty in Paterson’s Great Falls neighborhood.

“The program will help to bridge the gap between two generations — youth ages 16-24 who have dropped out of high school, and the elderly and disabled living in poverty, “ said NJCDC Vice President of Development Seth Friedman.

These youths will be given the opportunity to obtain their GED and a vocational certificate in construction, receiving on-the-job training repairing the homes of some 500 elderly and disabled homeowners or renters who cannot afford to make the repairs themselves.   All repairs will be made under the strict supervision and guidance of a construction instructor.

“The young adults who will participate in the new FreePair Paterson program have been unable to finish high school for reasons that were often out of their control. They have been victims of poverty, crime, abuse and homelessness,” said Vicky  Hernandez, NJCDC’s Chief Program Officer.  “The Impact 100 grant will give these young adults a second chance to become employable, self-sufficient adults.”

Head Start will use the $102,500 grant to fund a new Early Language and Literacy Program designed to help young children from low-income Morris County families, the majority of which are Spanish speaking, develop their vocabulary and conversation ability. The program has two key components:  teacher coaching and education programs for parents about ways to promote language and literacy in the home, including bilingual children’s books for families.

“The Impact 100 funding for Head Start’s Early Language and Literacy Program will impact the lives of hundreds of children and families, far into the future,” said Susan O’Donnell, executive director of the Head Start Community Program of Morris County.  “The real winners are the children who come to us, not speaking English, lacking early language and literacy opportunities.  This transformational grant will open the door to language and literacy for Morris County’s underserved children, creating a pathway to lifelong success,” states Susan O’Donnell, executive director of the Head Start Community Program of Morris County.”

Founded four years ago, Impact 100 is a unique organization of women dedicated to improving the lives of New Jersey residents by  supporting nonprofit organizations that serve Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Sussex counties.  Each member contributes $1,000 toward membership and the entire amount funds grants for nonprofit programs that will transform their communities.  Since its inception, Impact 100 members have contributed over $500,000 towards these grants, offering at least one $100,000 grant each year.

Impact 100 Garden State is a Special Project Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. Established in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey is an alliance of families, businesses and foundations that work together to create lasting differences in people’s lives and communities. Its mission is to support charitable giving that is inspired by its donors, targeted at making communities stronger, driven by creative solutions, and effective in achieving lasting change.

2015 Impact 100 Garden State Grant  Finalists