CAMDEN, NJ — Almost 30 Camden non-profit organizations and programs benefited Thursday from $145,000 in grant money, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care George Norcross announced.

The first set of grantees will each receive $5,000 over the next 18 months as part of the first-ever Camden City Community Grant Program — with the ultimate goal of awarding $1 million over the next five years.

“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.”

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In addition to the Cooper Foundation, the grant program was made possible by Conner Strong & Buckelew, American Water, The Michaels Organization, and NFI.

Among the programs having to do with coalition building and community health improvement advocacy that will benefit are the Heart of Camden, the Cathedral Soup Kitchen, the Center for Environmental Transformation, Joseph’s House of Camden and the Hispanic Family Center of Southern NJ. 

Giving a boost community organizations, the grant will help the Camden Day Nursery, Camden FireWorks, the Center for Aquatic Sciences, Hope Community Outreach Services, the I Dare to Care Association, the Lanning Square West Residents Association, the Mighty Writers, the Morgan Village Circle Community Development Corporation, the National Stop the Violence Alliance, the Nazarene Community Development Foundation, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society, the South Camden Theatre Company, and Your Education Consultants & Services. 

“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, which is among the grant recipients. “With this Camden City Community Grant, B.O.S.S. and other organizations, will support new and innovative programs that change lives.”

As for economic, workforce and leadership development, grantees include the Salvation Army — Camden Kroc Center, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, the Koinonia Family Life, Inc. d.b.a. Camden Dream Center Technology Training School, VietLead, the Home Port Alliance for USS New Jersey, Hopeworks, and Puerto Rican Unity for Progress. 

Grants focused on physical improvements to the city and housing will be awarded to the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, the Cooper-Grant Neighborhood Association, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 

“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.”

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