Throughout the pandemic, we have seen dramatic increases in communal needs – from the areas of food insecurity to domestic violence. Members of Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy wanted to help in a way that augments their financial contributions. Leading into Thanksgiving and winter holidays, they created The Gratitude Project through which partners and people across the heart of NJ collected food, toiletries, toys, and gift cards for those in need.
The month-long collection culminated with volunteers sorting and packing nearly a thousand items, then delivering them to distribution partners at Fulfill Foodbank, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex, and domestic violence support programs: Women Aware and 180 Turning Lives Around.
“The simple act of volunteering makes an impact much larger than you can ever imagine,” said Jessica Solomon, Executive Director of the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, who not only offered the museum as a collection site but also volunteered for the pack, sort, and transport operation.
Referring to fellow collection partners and countless Gratitude Project donors, Solomon added, “I greatly appreciate how many people came out to help all these different organizations from all over Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties. It is inspiring to see so many people helping in a time of need, especially during the holidays and a pandemic.”
Jewish Federation Women's Philanthropy engages women in the fulfilling work of making the world a better place and thanks Gratitude Project participants:
- Collection partners: Congregation Agudath Achim/Freehold Jewish Center, Congregation Ahavas Achim, East Brunswick Jewish Center, Highland Park Conservative Temple/ Congregation Anshe Emeth, JCC of Middlesex County, Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, Two River Theater, and Young Israel Aberdeen/Congregation Bet Tefilah.
- Distribution partners: Fulfill Foodbank, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex, and domestic violence support programs: Women Aware and 180 Turning Lives Around.
- Laurie and Sam Landy for inviting us to Congress Hill Farm to sort and pack donated items.
- The untold numbers of people throughout the heart of NJ who donated items.
For more information about upcoming Women’s Philanthropy programs, visit this webpage.