ELIZABETH, NJ - Community Access Unlimited (CAU) has been awarded a $15,000 grant by The Provident Bank Foundation through their Major Grant program in support of Community and Civic Engagement programming.

The program aims to empower at-risk youth through advocacy and leadership training to reduce social and class inequalities and improve their lives.

CAU is a Union County-based, statewide nonprofit that works to ensure that people with disabilities and at-risk youth, through comprehensive supports, have access to the same opportunities to live an integrated, independent, included life in the community as the general population.

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“We are thrilled to receive this grant to expand CAU’s efforts in community and civic engagement for young people,” said CAU Executive Director Bernadette Griswold. “Advocacy is at the heart of what we do.”

PBF Executive Director Jane Kurek was accompanied by Foundation Associate Samantha Plotino and Assistant Vice President Banking Center Manager Donna Purdon in presenting the grant to CAU on Nov. 20.

“The Provident Bank Foundation is honored to help further initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of residents in our local area,” Kurek said. “We are pleased to support organizations that contribute to a sense of community and offer a diverse set of programs that make people healthier, happier and safer.”

“Something like this comes across our desks and it just ignites this passion to make sure people know they can create change,” Plotino added.

The goal of the Major Grant is to support organizations that have identified an immediate need in the community and for the individuals they serve. The Provident Bank Foundation’s funding directly supports efforts to enhance the quality of life in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities served by Provident Bank through three Funding Priority Areas: Community Enrichment, Education, and Health, Youth & Families.

For more information about Community Access Unlimited, visit caunj.org.

Photo Caption - Left to right: Jane Kurek, The Provident Bank Foundation executive director, Donna Purdon, assistant vice president banking center manager, Bernadette Griswold, CAU executive director, Carlee Marano, CAU assistant executive director of development, Samantha Plotino, PBF associate at the CAU office in Elizabeth, NJ

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