Generous people are happier people. So you must be one of the happiest people around! We invite you to explore and give to past featured organizations. See for yourself how great they are:
Bethany Cares is dedicated to inciting a passion for reading in Newark’s youth. Each day of the organization’s Freedom School, a six-week summer reading intensive, kicks off with a celebration designed to get kids excited to read. Lessons are designed to help under-performing children accelerate their learning and become proficient readers. Some of the teachers who guide this learning are former students themselves, creating a career ladder that provides them an outlet to give back. And parents play a key role in the program, as well, taking part in weekly sessions to reinforce the importance of reading outside the classroom. With your donation, you can bring the joy of reading to children in Newark this summer.
Young people need attention, structure, and discipline to thrive. But, for a wide range of reasons, not every kid gets it at home, making it easier to fall behind in school or turn to the streets. The Boys and Girls Club fills the gap. Since 1938, the Boys & Girls Club of Newark has been providing affordable after-school, weekend and summer programs to thousands of children in Newark and surrounding communities. They take an integrated approach to youth development, offering services that nurture the whole child – emotionally, physically and socially. Whether at the Boys and Girls Club’s Central Ward Clubhouse or their school-based sites, their caring staff instills in young people a sense of personal power that stems from feelings of competence, belonging, usefulness and engagement. Help break the cycles of poverty and crime in New Jersey’s largest city and support this organization. Connect on Twitter: @BoysGirlsNewark
A CASA volunteer is an ordinary individual who rises to the extraordinary by making a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child in the foster care system. CASA volunteers are our fellow community members who have stepped up to spend countless hours being trained to be effective advocates for foster children, and countless hours finding safe, permanent homes where our most vulnerable children are well cared for and protected. Every child in the foster care system needs a caring, committed CASA volunteer to be their voice and their champion, and we owe it to our state’s most vulnerable children to make sure they have one. Please give now.
Elijah’s Promise uses food to break the cycle of poverty and change people’s lives. They feed people fresh, nutritious meals every day in New Brunswick, but they also do so much more. They offer culinary training and job opportunities with its professional catering business which delivers meals to kids, the elderly and the homebound through the city. They also operate a large community garden, a pay-what-you-can café called A Better World Café, and offer critical mental and physical health services to people in need. Simply put, your donation to Elijah’s Promise helps people live with dignity and opportunity.
Greater Life has been helping at-risk youth in Newark’s economically challenged South Ward break the cycle of poverty since 1986. Greater Life’s dedicated staff believe that with the right resources those children, teens and young adults facing some of the toughest obstacles in life — be it an unstable family life or the influence of gangs and drug culture — are just a helping hand away from a new beginning. In addition to offering youth a safe place to hang out, an after-school program designed to spark their creativity, a leadership institute to channel their entrepreneurial instincts; it provides mentorship, counseling and a family resource center to support to their parents and guardians. Thanks to this organization, more than 1,500 kids each year are more likely to become confident, invested in their communities, graduate high school, and go on to college or a job training program. Your donation to Greater Life will help even more Newark youth meet mentors, get homework help and go camping in the woods.
Do you ever get frustrated with the news? Like you can’t find the really important and interesting information you need and want about your community? WHYY’s NewsWorks is trying to do something about that. They are passionate about giving you news coverage that is meaningful and relevant to your life, and with a focus on solutions and not just the problems. They want to hear from you – they want to know your concerns, your insights, and your questions, so that they can offer you better reporting. How many other news organizations can you say that about? Show NewsWorks your support for news that makes a difference.
Sadie Nash Leadership Project works to strengthen, empower, and equip low-income young women as agents of change in their lives and the community. By increasing the participation of women in social, political, and economic decision-making, Sadie Nash seeks to question and redefine the nature of leadership and to promote perspectives and practices that are cooperative, accountable, ethical, and effective. Its programming includes a comprehensive six-week summer institute, partnerships with local schools, afterschool and Saturday classes, and an internship program with local organizations. Through these opportunities and the safe space that Sadie Nash provides, more than 100 young women each year have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of sisterhood and see themselves as leaders. Your donation to Sadie Nash will help to strengthen and expand enrichment opportunities for low income young women in Newark.
Saint Vincent Academy is Newark’s only Catholic college preparatory high school open to all young women regardless of their family's financial struggles. Founded in 1869 and sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the Academy is dedicated to preparing its 300 students to be creative participants in society with a desire to transform the world into a more just and peaceful place by empowering them with rigorous academic learning and life-enhancing Gospel teachings. The Academy instills in students a love of learning, confidence in themselves as women, and an understanding of the power of community. Impressively, virtually every recent graduate has continued on to college. Please support them today. Connect via Twitter @stvincentnj.
Sustainable Jersey was founded to "make a better tomorrow, one community at a time." And it’s working. In just five years, Sustainable Jersey has attracted 417 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities to participate in its programs. Sustainable Jersey embraces a community-led process designed to enable towns to make informed decisions about the issues unique to their communities. Whether flooding, creating safer routes to schools, or preparing for the next Hurricane Sandy is a concern, Sustainable Jersey has the tools to help your town get started. Chances are your town is already a Sustainable Jersey town. Your donation to Sustainable Jersey helps them provide valuable expertise and money-saving tools to communities across the state.
The Citizens Campaign puts power in people’s hands. Most of us see the problems in our communities and want to make things better but we’re not mayors, legislators or politicians and we don’t always know how to get things done. That’s where The Citizens Campaign comes in. They train people to become leaders and work with their fellow citizens to find solutions that benefit their communities. Many individuals have been successful in getting laws passed because they’ve learned how to develop these laws and present them to the governing body of their towns. And this training is provided free of charge to all. So please support The Citizens Campaign and you, too, can learn to become a citizen legislator, journalist or innovator in your hometown and help make all of New Jersey a better place to live.
Have you heard of the relationship of the red knot to the horseshoe crab? It’s one of the great partnerships in the animal kingdom – two species whose existence relies upon the other. Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed the critical beach habitat needed for these critters to thrive, threatened all that. American Littoral Society, the voice of Jersey coast and Delaware Bayshore, stepped in to restore the beaches, not only to rebuild a dune or an oyster reef using sustainable, long-term practices, but also to motivate people to invest “sweat equity” into a piece of the coast, take ownership and become committed stewards. Three years after Sandy, they continue their work protecting our coastline and ensuring residents and visitors – tourists, migratory birds like red knots, and horseshoe crabs alike – have a place of respite for generations to come. Please show them some love. Connect on Twitter @littoralsociety
Aboard the Schooner AJ Meerwald, New Jersey’s Tall Ship and state treasure (it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995), New Jerseyans can experience the rich heritage, ecology and ship-building and fishing history of the Delaware Bay. For 25 years, the Bayshore Center at Bivalve has championed and celebrated this unique region of New Jersey, and now their voice – and your support – is more important than ever. The Bayshore suffered severe economic and ecological damage from Hurricane Sandy, yet it was not designated as a region to receive federal assistance. Your support for the Bayshore Center at Bivalve gives a voice to the people living throughout Bayshore area of south Jersey.
Cooper's Ferry Partnership is helping shape a new narrative of Camden, New Jersey. The nonprofit corporation is dedicated to bringing people together through creative placemaking programs that utilize arts and creativity to enliven vacant properties and public spaces in neighborhoods. Like the pop-up skatepark it worked alongside the community to build, the tablecloth (the longest in America) artists and residents came together to sew in preparation for a community feast, and events like the return of drive-in movies, yoga in the park, and free concerts. And its SMART initiative is a national model for community engagement in stormwater management. Your support helps keep the community at the heart of Camden. Connect @coopersferry
Sometimes called the urban sister to the Appalachian Trail, the East Coast Greenway is the world's longest urban trail system. Created for self-powered users of all ages and abilities, the East Coast Greenway stretches 2,900 miles from Maine to Florida, linking 15 states and 450 communities. The 100 miles of linear park through central and northern New Jersey is mostly on public land, connecting countless waterfront esplanades, park paths, abandoned railroad corridors, and canal towpaths. It passes through Trenton, Princeton, New Brunswick, Newark, and Jersey City, as well as many forests, meadows, and rivers in-between. The East Coast Greenway Alliance needs your help to make the route safer and to support innovative programming for a healthy and sustainable future as we make trail the most popular park in America over the next decade, tripling the 10 million annual visits it receives today. Please donate today. Connect via Twitter @ECGreenway
Ironbound Community Corporation is a strong voice for Newark’s Ironbound community, a mecca for diverse immigrants. They put power in the hands of residents by including them in the center of housing, land use, climate change resilience, park development, greening and other important issues. Beyond its mission to offer traditional community programs like daycare and senior services and building schools and housing, Ironbound Community Corporation are champions of efforts to restore, steward and green the Passaic Riverfront and are working to address the underlying causes of flooding with innovative solutions. For 25 years, they helped shape and create the new Riverfront Park, providing much-needed green space to residents who would otherwise have few options for recreation. If you believe that a community can get something done against the most powerful forces, please support this organization today. Connect @IronboundICC
The New Jersey Conservation Foundation is the state’s oldest land preservation organization. They are the Lorax – they speak for the trees. And the farmland, the meadows, the rivers, and the endangered species. If you have ever visited the Great Swamp National Wildlife Reserve in Morris County and marveled at its spectacular beauty, you can thank NJCF for not allowing it to turn into a major airport, which was the plan in the late 1950s. NJCF has also inspired the formation of several other land trusts around the state, and all these years later, they continue to be a strong voice in Trenton politics, speaking out on environmental issues. It’s your turn to speak for the trees: make a donation to NJCF.
If there ever were a sea creature deserving of a community service award, it is the oyster. Oysters do the dirty work of filtering toxins from our beloved oceans and bays, making them safe and clean not only for our enjoyment but to the benefit of the entire shore ecosystem. The oysters that call the Delaware Bayshore home is what Project PORTS, a community outreach program of the Haskin Shellfish Research Lab, is all about. The PORTS program connects children and adults with the scientists of the lab, and engages the community in oyster habitat restoration in the Bayshore, as an important strategy for improving water quality, fisheries, and tourism. Support for Project PORTS helps oysters, our oceans and builds a stewardship ethic in the Bayshore.
Did you know that fewer than 50 percent of the children in Newark live within walking distance of a safe park or playground? The Trust for Public Land is working to reclaim public land for everyone to enjoy as parks, gardens, natural areas and open space. It takes a decidedly community-driven approach to do so, bringing together teams of community members, students and school staff, and city officials to take part in all phases of the park development process: from visioning and design, to construction and long-term maintenance. That level of involvement creates community bonds and a love of place that leads to good stewardship. Parks are more than just pretty places to picnic and play, they reduce air pollution and remove flooding, attract visitors and businesses and increase property values. If you want to see more parks in Newark, please support this worthy program. Tweet us: @tpl_org
Think back to your favorite class in elementary, middle or high school. What made it so special? Chances are your favorite school memory involves a teacher. The best teachers challenge students to work harder, inspire them to think outside the box and make learning fun, and that never leaves us. That’s what Arts Horizons is all about – inspiring good teachers to become great teachers through the arts, which translates into more creative students. Their Artist/Teacher Institute is a place for teachers to learn new skills, knowledge, and techniques that promote creativity, artistic expression and inter-disciplinary connections. If a teacher has ever made a difference in your life, please make a donation to Arts Horizons. Connect: @artshorizons1
Pink pointe shoes? Check. Countless hours in front of a mirror practicing graceful plies, meticulous twirls and exuberant leaps? Check. Gothic costumes and vampire fangs? Check. If it has been a while since you’ve been to the ballet, you should check out the Atlantic City Ballet, one of the Jersey Shore’s growing regional artistic jewels. Not only does the talented troupe of internationally acclaimed dancers bring to life classics like “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake,” but also a production of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” that would delight any “Twilight” fan today. Other performances feature live music by the Atlantic City Ballet Ensemble and the Garden State Philharmonic. Add to that their “Stages to School” and “Ballet on the Boardwalk” initiatives that bring innovative dance to new audiences in Atlantic City, and we’ve given you enough good reasons to support this organization.
Performing jazz requires discipline, practice, and an incredible openness to let each note take you somewhere unknown. At Jazz House Kids, children learn not only to play instruments and perform a purely American art form but also to confidently improvise in their own lives. Thanks to the Montclair-based organization, more than 45,000 students from throughout New Jersey have performed before half a million people. In 2014, every Jazz House graduate went on to college, some with big merit scholarships at the best music schools and conservatories in the country. And Jazz House Kids offers opportunities to help curious teachers incorporate jazz into their classroom to foster an appreciation for jazz and boost student achievement. Your donation to Jazz House kids will help set a child down a path to a more creative and confident future.
If you live in Monmouth County, or you have ever enjoyed arts and culture events while visiting the Jersey Shore, chances are you can thank Monmouth Arts for that. Their mission is simple: Enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts. That means supporting arts education, encouraging collaboration, giving grants to nonprofit arts organizations and community groups with arts programs, and supporting events — lots of them. Monmouth Arts funds more than 2,500 high-quality, inexpensive or free concerts, films, dance and theater productions, musicals, creative writing programs, art exhibitions, and arts education programs for over 700,000 children and adults throughout the region each year. Monmouth Arts is where community and arts connect. Support Monmouth Arts to keep the arts alive at the Jersey Shore.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is everything you think of when you remember and relive the magic of seeing a play – the imaginative settings, the lighting, and the fanciful costumes that transport you to other worlds. The ideas and emotions in Shakespeare’s plays have endured for 400 years now, because we can still relate to them – especially when the Shakespeare Theatre makes them and other classic plays come alive in new and fresh ways. Add to that their education programs and outreach to schools, as well as one of the finest actor training programs in the state, and we’ve given you more than enough reasons to want to support the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. So what are you waiting for?
It wasn’t long ago that Hat City was just another neighborhood with a colorful history that had not yet reinvented itself from its manufacturing past. Today it’s the 15-square block Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange — one of the top creative places in the state. At the center of this new energy is ValleyArts, an arts service organization that collaborates with nonprofit arts organizations, artists, and others in the community to help advance rather than displace community. A donation to ValleyArts is a vote in favor of more districts like this across New Jersey. It’s also a celebration of a place with a distinct history, sustainably re-imagined, as part of a just and beautiful city.