Woodbury gets $100K Transform South Jersey grant from Community Foundation coalition

By Eric Strauss
Woodbury | Jul 29, 2020 at 10:15 am

The Community Foundation of South Jersey has awarded a $100,000 Transform South Jersey grant to the city of Woodbury, in Gloucester County, it announced Wednesday.

Woodbury, through local convening partner the FAF Coalition, joins Hammonton, Willingboro Township, Winslow Township, Downe Township and Salem as recipients, according to a news release.

This represents the sixth grant awarded by Transform South Jersey, a collaboration between the Community Foundation; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; New Jersey Health Initiatives, the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the OceanFirst Foundation; the Orton Family Foundation; the PSEG Foundation; and the Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corp.

“We are thrilled that additional funds from our partner organizations have allowed us to provide this Transform South Jersey grant to the FAF Coalition in the city of Woodbury,” Andy Fraizer, executive director of the Community Foundation, said in a prepared statement.

The grants use the Orton Family Foundation’s national Community Heart & Soul model to support initiatives that bring people together to build stronger, healthier and more economically vibrant communities, according to the release.

For most communities, completing the four phases of the model takes about two years.

“Community Heart & Soul is a proven process that empowers people to shape the future of their communities by creating a shared sense of belonging that improves local decision-making, and ultimately strengthens social, cultural and economic vitality,” Fraizer said.

The grant enables the FAF Coalition to access up to $100,000 in funding to support staffing, marketing and communications needs associated with a full-scale implementation of the model in the town, as well as coaching, training and technical assistance. The community has committed to raise at least $25,000 to serve as an endowment for its fund.

“We are incredibly grateful to be selected as a Transform South Jersey grant recipient,” FAF Program Director Jared Hunter said in a statement. “It has been a rigorous process getting to this point, but I believe it has given us the opportunity to create a positive environment in the community. We also developed connections among various groups throughout the city that are excited to work alongside us in the near future.”

Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | @acerimrat