By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. – More than 60 nonprofit organizations across the county will receive grants worth millions of dollars as part of the Camden County Board of Commissioner’s COVID-19 Community Recovery Grant Program.
The grants were awarded to organizations that serve vulnerable and at-need populations within the county; provide on-demand pandemic-focused services that are critical to the county’s public health and safety response to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and strengthen the county’s travel, tourism, and hospitality industries whose operations have been substantially affected by the pandemic, according to county.
“The nonprofits selected for these grants, such as the Boys and Girls Club and several VFW Posts, have worked tirelessly over the last two years to continue providing our community with vital services,” County Commissioner Melinda Kane said in a press release from the county. “Ensuring that these organizations have the tools to recover and thrive will play a pivotal part in the county’s journey into a post-pandemic world. These funds will preserve and allow organizations to expand the scope of their missions across the board and make our community stronger through their tireless efforts throughout Camden County.”
The grants are funded through a federal allocation of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that was signed into law early in 2021. The bill has provided funding to local, county and state governments throughout the nation. This allocation has been part of $55 million in federal funds the Board of Commissioners has made available to different hard-hit sectors of the community, including rental assistance and small business grants.
Congressman Donald Norcross stated the impact these funds are having throughout the county for a variety of mission driven organizations.
“The American Rescue Plan continues to play a fundamental role in our recovery from the pandemic, and I am proud to have voted to make this funding available,” Norcross said. “Many nonprofits that provide vital services to vulnerable members of our community saw donations dry up as household finances were turned upside down by the pandemic. This funding will ensure nonprofits that helped in our time of need receive the help they need to keep fulfilling their missions.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Camden County has providing an island for at-risk children in Camden been for decades.
“The Boys & Girls Club of Camden County is honored to be selected to receive funding through the Camden County COVID-19 Community Recovery Grant,” Bernadette Shanahan, chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, said. “This grant is truly a game-changer for us. We are pleased that the Commissioners selected the club to receive this funding because it will help us to do facility repairs, provide transportation for our teens to access programs, as well as hire and retain staff. However, one of our biggest initiatives will be to increase our Trauma Informed Care practices to better serve our youth who need these services now more than ever as they return to schools and activities.”
Daniel L. Lombardo, president and chief executive officer for Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, said how receiving a $500,000 will impact the organization.
“Volunteers of America Delaware Valley would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Camden County Commissioners for naming our organization a recipient of this critical funding,” Lombardo said. “COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on communities across the nation, even right here in Camden County. Innovative funding opportunities like this help us and our fellow community-based organizations reach even more individuals in need – allowing us to expand services, provide comprehensive support to those impacted by the pandemic and further our mission to serve those in need.”
Victor Murray, senior director of community engagement and capacity building for the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, said the money will allow the organization to continue its work to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone’s lives and although these challenges can feel overwhelming, it has highlighted the need for strong partnerships,” Murray said. “With this $500,000 grant, our organization can continue its efforts to keep our region safe and healthy, which includes widespread vaccine rollout and testing options. We’re so grateful to the Board of Commissioners for this money and we look forward to continuing our work for the residents of Camden County.”
Heart of Camden Inc., located in the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden City, has also received a grant. Executive Director Carlos Morales talked about the important work his nonprofit will do with these funds.
“The Heart of Camden is honored to receive this award from the Camden County Commissioners,” Morales said. “We are grateful for the continued support of the county and look forward to our ongoing successful partnership to revitalize the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden City. Our organization will utilize these funds to strengthen our capacity, enrich our community’s arts and culture, develop affordable housing, and provide critical services to the community we serve.”
Another organization that works directly with the county’s youth, I Dare to Care Association, also qualified for funds. Pamela Grayson-Baltimore, founder and CEO, talked about the impact these funds will have on nonprofit.
“These funds will allow us to further develop our mission and expand our capacity for the youth of this county,” Grayson Baltimore said. “This grant will underwrite the ability for us to provide more programming and provide it up to six days a week, which ultimately will allow us to reach and help more children.”
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