Community Foundation of New Jersey

The Family Hand-Up Fund

February 6, 2013

The Community Foundation of NJ, in partnership with Family Services of Morris County (FSMC), created the Family Hand-Up Fund to assist under-served Morris County families during these difficult economic times. Thanks to the generosity of our CFNJ Donors, we were able to provide funding to Family Services so emergency funds could be directly provided to designated families who are experiencing financial hardships due to the economy.

The Family Services social workers, who are closely involved with the clients who benefit from the many services offered by Family Services to the community, can quickly assess where emergency funding would provide the greatest benefit. Senior Citizens and single parents are especially hit hard by the economic downturn, and often have to make painful choices such as deciding between eating, paying utility bills or paying rent. A gift card to the local A&P that was given to a Senior made it possible for her to obtain food while still staying warm. A payment was made to the telephone company so another Senior would not be isolated. An older man who takes care of his ailing 89-year-old father received a gift card so he could purchase both food and medical supplies. A woman who had trouble managing her finances received an A&P gift card, and also received assistance with budgeting from a volunteer with FSMC’s Senior Cents program. One family with a young special-needs child experienced hardship when the mother and father both lost their jobs within a one-week period, so the Fund helped with a rent payment so the family would not be homeless. One young single mother of three, who experienced a substantial reduction in the hours that she worked at McDonald’s, received a gift card to help pay her rent.

Patrice Picard, the Executive Director of Family Services, noted that a family’s wish list often includes such basic items as toothbrushes, Ibuprofen and warm socks. Thanks to the Family Hand-Up Fund, a major difference can be made by fulfilling the basic needs of the underserved throughout our area.

If you would like to make a donation to the Family Hand-Up Fund, please contact MRivera@cfnj.org.