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South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund Assists BBBS of Coastal & Northern New Jersey

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey (BBBSCNNJ), which provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6-18, received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of South Jersey’s (CFSJ) South Jersey Covid-19 Response Fund.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic BBBSCNNJ quickly converted to virtual meetings and programs to continue supporting youth and the community. The loss of income from closures created economic insecurity for participating families. Mental health issues and food insecurities grew at unprecedented rates, so BBBSCNNJ pivoted its community service strategy. Staff members called the families they serve and set up virtual meetings to better monitor each family’s needs and the individual student’s needs so that no one was left without care and connection.

June 3, 2022, is a big day for us, as it is the day of the annual gala, the first in two years,” said Marybeth Bull, Director of Development at BBBSCNNJ. “We were really only able to survive the past few years thanks, in part, to grants such as the COVID-19 Response Fund from the Community Foundation of South Jersey. As new needs arose, BBBSCNNJ struggled to find the supporting funds because of event cancellations. . Virtual events were wonderful and we were grateful for those who partook, but they are not the same as our in-person event,” continued Marybeth of BBBSCNNJ. “The grant from the Community Foundation of South Jersey came just in time. The new source of funding helped combat the deficit so that we experienced no gap in service throughout the 10 counties we serve.”

“The way BBBSCNNJ continued its dedication to the community, finding matches, connecting them, and supervising them, inspired us,” said Andy Fraizer, executive director of CFSJ.” “We are grateful to assist an organization focused on future generations and help them continue making a difference.”