Building Resilient Communities

We all experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of Tropical Storm Ida’s aftermath. During these difficult times, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) responded to these crises.  We also focused our work to provide solutions to the challenges, while building resilient communities.

Building Resilient Communities

Grants from the NNJCF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund helped provide food to children and families.

Grants from the Foundation’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund helped provide food to children and families.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the NNJCF worked with a range of regional partners to implement a coordinated response. For example, Alicia’s story highlighted our neighbors’ struggles. Some of our neighbors also faced difficult decisions: to use their dwindling resources to purchase food or to bury loved ones, who died from COVID-19. With the NNJCF’s support, the only pantry in eastern Bergen County helped Alicia*, a woman with special needs, receive nutritious food and the means to pick up her husband’s ashes at the funeral home.

With your support and the public’s desire to help our neighbors in need, the NNJCF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund raised over $550,000 in gifts from local community members. In addition, we awarded grants to over 160 local grassroots nonprofits working on the front lines in northern New Jersey.

Some organizations integrated racial justice into their community engagement approaches and used the arts to express both outrage and resilience to this critical issue. Also, youth leaders also worked with our Climate Action Mobilization Project (CAMP) on environmental problems, fostering new ideas for a sustainable future such as growing and providing fresh produce directly from community gardens to pantries serving our most vulnerable populations. The NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative engaged arts organizations and artists to reach out to isolated community members through virtual classes and performances.

The severe flooding from Tropical Storm Ida emphasized climate change must be addressed now. We called upon our leaders and residents to develop regional, coordinated plans to redesign sewer systems, invest in green infrastructure to build community resiliency, and to improve and rethink zoning and land use. The NNJCF, experienced in facilitating collaborative, inter-municipal learning, planning, and design, stands ready to help.

How Can You Help?

With your gift, the NNJCF can also continue our work with regional partners to identify and find solutions and respond quickly to critical issues affecting all of us.

Please make a donation of any amount to our ‘Building Resilient Communities’ annual campaign today on our secure website. Donations may also be contributed by check made out to ‘The Northern NJ Community Foundation’. Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601. The NNJCF is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Donations may also be tax deductible, as permitted by law.

For further information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, contact or call 201-568-5608. Your support will help us continue this important work.

Sincerely yours,

Mary K. Blanusa

Executive Director

P.S. Together, we’re ‘Building Resilient Communities’! Won’t you join us?

*The name has been changed to protect her privacy.


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