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February 6, 2020 

Contact:  Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager
Office: 856.382.6463
Cell: 856.904.1688

First Grantees of New $1 Million Camden City Community Grant
Program Announced

Conner Strong & Buckelew, American Water, The Michaels Organization, NFI, and
The Cooper Foundation Sponsor Community Building Grants to 29 Camden City Based
Non-Profit Organizations


CAMDEN, NJ – George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care, announced today that 29 Camden City based non-profit community organizations will receive grant awards from the first ever Camden City Community Grant Program. Each grantee will receive a $5,000 grant to fund a significant community building activity within the next 18 months.


Conner Strong & Buckelew, American Water, The Michaels Organization, NFI, and The Cooper Foundation are the founding sponsors of the new $1 million grant program which will award community building grants over the next five years to Camden City based non-profit organizations committed to making Camden a healthier place to live, work, learn and play.


“Camden-based companies investing in Camden-based non-profit organizations reinforces the idea that we must all work together for Camden to continue its renaissance,” said Norcross. “I want to thank our founding sponsors for supporting this program and for valuing the essential services that these Camden community organizations provide to strengthen and enrich the lives of Camden residents.”


The goal of the new grant program is to address social determinants of health by funding applicants that demonstrate a focus on one of the following Community Building Activities: physical improvements and housing, economic development, community support, environmental improvements, leadership development and training for community members, coalition building, community health improvement advocacy or workforce development.


The 29 organizations awarded grants address a wide range of needs that have significant impact on the health and welfare of the community. These grants will support vital programs and services to diversified populations across the city.


“Congratulations to the outstanding grant recipients who are making positive contributions in our community each and every day,” said Susan Bass Levin, President & CEO of The Cooper Foundation. “From summer enrichment programs to initiatives that address food insecurity, job readiness and access to cultural opportunities, we look forward to seeing how the grantees’ programs will enhance the lives of Camden residents.”


“Non-profit organizations rely on grants and donations to fund the important work we do on the front-lines,” said Yaniece Spencer, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Boys of Sustainable Strength (B.O.S.S.) Mentoring, Inc. and one of the grant award recipients. “With this Camden City Community Grant, B.O.S.S. and other organizations, will support new and innovative programs that change lives.”


Below is the complete list of the Camden City Community Grant Program recipients:


Coalition Building


The Heart of Camden

Program: Next Generation Green

Purpose of Grant: To develop the next generation of green leaders by building a community coalition of youth ambassadors to address a cleaner, greener and healthier neighborhood.


Community Health Improvement Advocacy


Cathedral Soup Kitchen

Program: Cathedral Kitchen Meal Program

Purpose of Grant: To help sustain Cathedral Kitchen meal program which serves more than 3,000 individuals and more than 122,000 meals each year.


Center for Environmental Transformation

Program: Summer Youth Program

Purpose of Grant: To hire additional teens for the summer program which employs Camden youth who work in the gardens and operate a local farmer’s market.


Joseph’s House of Camden

Program: Connection HUB

Purpose of Grant: To provide supplies to support the day provider program which links homeless guests to critical services such as housing, employment, healthcare, and addiction services.


The Hispanic Family Center of Southern NJ, Inc.

Program: Pathways to Health

Purpose of Grant: To fund supplies, workshops and client transportation for bilingual and bicultural residents in need of assistance navigating the complex healthcare and health insurance systems.


Community Support


Boys of Sustainable Strength, Inc. (B.O.S.S.)

Program: BOSS UP – Helping City Males Succeed

Purpose of Grant: To support a weekly mentoring program where boys ages 8-18 have a safe environment to discuss everyday issues, plan for the future, and promote healthy lifestyles.


Camden Day Nursery

Program: Early Literacy Initiative 

Purpose of Grant: To create 90 story time boxes containing books, puppets, songs, crafts and games for parents to check-out to increase access to literacy activities.


Camden FireWorks

Program: Capacity Building Grant

Purpose of Grant: To improve outreach communication with neighbors and members of the artistic community to bring free and diverse arts experiences to the City of Camden.


Center for Aquatic Sciences

Program: Community & Urban Science Enrichment (CAUSE) Program

Purpose of Grant: To support a youth development program for Camden teens that provides intensive training in aquatic science, skill and character building, mentoring, paid work experience and college preparation.


Hope Community Outreach Services

Program: Youth Summer Camp

Purpose of Grant: To engage students ages 5-14 in healthy, safe and educational activities throughout the summer.


I Dare to Care Association, Inc. (ID2C)

Program: “Selfcare…It Starts With Me” Conference

Purpose of Grant: To fund a one-day conference in Camden for young women ages 7 and up which will include workshops and activities that promote self-awareness, mindfulness and community involvement.


Lanning Square West Residents Association

Program: The Gathering Table at Lanning Square West

Purpose of Grant: To provide holistic and cultural programs and activities designed to improve the health of residents in Lanning Square.


Mighty Writers

Program: Mighty Writers Camden

Purpose of Grant: To support free, after school writing workshops focused on mindfulness at four Camden locations.


Morgan Village Circle Community Development Corporation

Program: Morgan Village Arts, Science & Technology Program

Purpose of Grant: To continue a safe haven program for at-risk children using career readiness classes in areas of STEM, STEAM and SMART.


National Stop the Violence Alliance, Inc.

Program: What About YOUth (W.A.Y.) Initiative

Purpose of Grant: To expand youth initiative which seeks to improve education skills, attitudes toward law enforcement, conflict resolution and self-esteem.


Nazarene Community Development Foundation

Program: JOY (Just Older Youth)

Purpose of Grant: To provide health and wellness resources to seniors by offering opportunities for socialization, creativity and education.


Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society

Program: Home Maintenance Lab

Purpose of Grant: To fund an innovative classroom experience which teaches homeowners how to complete routine home maintenance and simple repairs.


South Camden Theatre Company, Inc.

Program: Camden Resident Ticketing Program – 2020 Season of Celebration

Purpose of Grant: To promote a ticketing program which offers Camden residents a generous reduction in their general admission ticket price from $25 to $5 per ticket.


Your Education Consultants & Services

Program: MEL/MLK After School Safe Haven Enrichment & Workshops

Purpose of Grant: To provide after-school learning, tutoring, homework assistance, guidance services and mentoring to students in the Gateway section of Parkside.


Economic Development


The Salvation Army – Camden Kroc Center

Program: Client Choice Food Pantry

Purpose of Grant: To enhance the pantry’s emergency food service by providing Cramer Hill and other Camden residents with nutrition education, recipes and other tools to implement a healthier diet. 


Volunteers of America Delaware Valley

Program: Volunteer UP Reentry Legal Aid Fund

Purpose of Grant: To support an existing civil legal aid fund for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Camden City jobseekers by removing barriers to successful reentry.


Leadership Development & Training for Community Members


Koinonia Family Life, Inc. d.b.a. Camden Dream Center Technology Training School

Program: 2020 Camden Dream CDF Freedom Summer School Program

Purpose of Grant: To operate a 6-week summer literacy and STEM enrichment program for Camden youth in grades K-8.



Program: Youth Programming

Purpose of Grant: To support three youth programs, Jersey Roots, Resilient Roots, and a Community Garden, which teach students how to grow and maintain a garden and prepare healthy meals.


Physical Improvements and Housing


Boys & Girls Club of Camden County

Program: Locker Room Enhancement Project

Purpose of Grant: To upgrade/repair the gym lockers and benches used by the club members and youth athletes utilizing the club in East Camden.


Cooper-Grant Neighborhood Association

Program: Cooper-Grant ArtsGarden

Purpose of Grant: To transform a blighted lot in the Cooper Grant neighborhood into an Arts Garden by installing a variety of arts-related infrastructure including an art gallery, performance stage and seating, walkways, flower planters, birdhouses and other items to improve the site.


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Program: Lavatory Renovation Project

Purpose of Grant: To upgrade restrooms for participants of weekly food distribution program and the daily Narcotics Anonymous meetings.


Workforce Development


Home Port Alliance for the USS New Jersey, Inc.

Program: Internship Program for High School Students

Purpose of Grant: To add additional interns to existing 16-week internship program.



Program: Recode Your Future

Purpose of Grant: To add additional slots to award-winning training program which places Camden young people in jobs at Camden companies.


Puerto Rican Unity for Progress

Program: Pathway to Success

Purpose of Grant: To support a workforce development program for vulnerable individuals by creating individualized plans for participants to gain the skills necessary to obtain sustainable employment.