The Community Chest Awards COVID-19 Emergency Fund Grants to Bergen County Agencies

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Andrea Egan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, and Amanda Missey, President and CEO of Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, prepare to deliver emergency meal kits to the organization's patients. Image Courtesy of Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative

The Community Chest announces the awarding of over $50,000 in grants from its Coronavirus Emergency Fund to 13 agencies.  Founded in 1933, ‘The Chest’ is a nonprofit organization serving eastern Bergen County and headquartered in Englewood, New Jersey working with area agencies supplying support to people in need.

The Center for Food Action staff assembled 1,800 boxes of food at Fairleigh Dickinson University.   Shown left to right: Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco, Carlos Rodriguez from the Community Food Bank, Patricia Espy from the Center joined them for Food Action, and Lynne Algrant from Bergen Volunteers. Image Courtesy of The Center for Food Action

With a mission to strengthen the community through partnership, leadership and philanthropy, The Community Chest awarded grants, with a maximum award of $4,000, to local nonprofits through a competitive process managed by The Chest’s Allocations Committee and approved by the Board of Managers.   The recipients are: Center for Food Action, Center for Hope and Safety, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Office of Concern Food Pantry, Spectrum for Living, Vantage Health System, West Side Infant and Teen Parent Program, Women’s Rights Information Center, Bergen Volunteer Center, Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, Metro Community Center, St. Paul’s Church, and the YWCA.

Christopher Perry, President and CEO, of Spectrum for Living with clients the nonprofit organization services. Image Courtesy of Spectrum of Living

The grant awards support food, clothing, shelter, and safety to meet increased demands for services to local nonprofits affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic in eastern Bergen County, New Jersey.  These agencies supply meals for food insecure families, safety for domestic abuse victims, and mental and physical health services to the most at-risk members of the community.   100% of all contributions raised were awarded to nonprofit, 501(c)(3) agencies.

Collaborating During a Pandemic

Founded at the height of the Great Depression in 1933 to find solutions to the economic challenges affecting neighbors in the area, The Community Chest responded immediately to the coronavirus pandemic working with area nonprofits to provide them with the tools to carry out their missions.  The Chest provides a platform for nonprofit agency leaders to collaborate, discuss their problems and identify solutions to help neighbors in eastern Bergen County.

David J. Griffith, President and CEO of Vantage Health System, gives a thumb-up upon the organization receiving a grant award from The Community Chest’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund.  Image Courtesy of Vantage Health System

“During this time of extensive need in the community, The Community Chest called upon our neighbors to help their neighbors.  The Community Chest is grateful to all the donors who responded and supported their neighbors,” said Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, Executive Director, The Community Chest.

“We came together with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to ensure maximum coverage throughout the county.  This collaboration allowed us to coordinate resources and share the application with the nonprofit agencies, while providing the greatest support possible to the community in a serious crisis to fulfill our neighbors’ needs,” explained Dr. Wimpfheimer.

A little girl served by the West Side Infant and Teen Parenting Program. Image Courtesy of West Side Infant and Teen Parenting Program

“On behalf of our board, staff, and especially our families, thank you for your most generous award.  We are exceedingly grateful for The Community Chest, especially during this time of great distress.   As a result of the Coronavirus Emergency Fund award, West Side will be able to: distribute children’s activity packets; distribute diapers, diaper cream, formula, and baby wipes; distribute breakfast and lunch packets for each family; continue working with our ‘virtual buddies’ and provide needed materials; continue daily counseling with our families; and distribute essentials to families,” said Darlene Serrano, Executive Director, West Side Infant and Teen Parent Program.

Funds were raised through a special appeal to neighbors.  Contributions may continue to be made online at www.thecommunitychestebc.org.  Send donations by check, made out to ‘The Community Chest’, to 122 South Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey 07606.  Enter in the memo line, Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

About The Community Chest

Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 87 years.  The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County.  Each year, The Chest raises funds and distributes them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens.  The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.

The Community Chest’s Board of Managers is made up of community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in need.  People interested in being considered for board membership may contact executive director Shelly Wimpfheimer at (201) 568-7474.

For further information about The Chest, visit www.thecommunitychestebc.org/ or contact (201) 568-7474.  Stay updated about the organization’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.

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