Susan Haspel, state director of Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, said the donation, which was announced on the National Day of Giving, will be critically important funding to clubs in Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth and Passaic counties.
The gift will enable the expansion of club sites to accommodate more kids at a critical time when after-school and summer camp programming are greatly needed, particularly given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This major gift also will work to build stronger and healthier communities where it’s needed most, fostering educational achievement, healthy living and social-emotional learning, Haspel said.
“Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey is grateful that Amazon is supporting clubs across the state, she said. “This investment will help us continue to provide families with an enriching and safe place for kids after school.
“Support can’t come at a better time, given the escalating need we’re seeing. Every day, New Jersey youth numbering in the tens of thousands rely on Boys & Girls Clubs across New Jersey for hope and opportunity.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey
Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey is an alliance of 22 Boys & Girls Club organizations serving more than 71,000 youth ages 5-18 throughout the Garden State. Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey is a collaborative effort representing all 22 clubs with the purpose of building local club capacity; raising public awareness; and securing resources and financial support to increase the impact and reach of NJ Clubs.
Colin Newman, Amazon’s public policy director for New Jersey, said the company is thrilled to give back to the community it serves.
“Year-round, the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey provide invaluable service to youth across the state,” he said. “Whether it is after-school initiatives, helping teens develop skills to enter the workforce and launch new careers, or assistance to families during the holidays, the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey are building stronger communities.
“Their work during the pandemic has been especially vital for underserved communities, and we’re happy to support their ongoing efforts to ensure all New Jersey youth can grow and flourish.”
Haspel said the help is especially needed during the holiday season, when clubs strive to ensure the families they serve have what they need.
To meet this goal, $25,000 of Amazon’s support to Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey went to assisting 20 traditional and military Boys & Girls Clubs in providing Thanksgiving holiday meals for hundreds of club families in need.
Here a look at how the donation will help three particular areas:
- Mercer County: Amazon’s gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County, along with other funders, enabled the club to open six new school sites to serve 300 more youth per day this school year. Amazon’s support also provided the club with the opportunity to provide scholarships to area youth so they can attend the club’s after-school programming regardless of their ability to pay.
- Monmouth County: At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, Amazon’s contribution will support the expansion of its teen empowerment and employment program, Project L.E.A.D., as well as the development of a new club site in the county. Funding of Project L.E.A.D. will allow the club to provide more young people with valuable work experiences that teach responsibility, helping them develop time management skills, form good work habits and become financially secure.
- Clifton: Funding for the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton will support the launch of its Youth Voices Town Hall program, an expansion of the club’s leadership and career development programs. This program will provide teens with opportunities for exposure, self-discovery, and ways to build their own network connections. Amazon’s funding will support leadership and service-learning best practices and allow young people to engage in conversations with community experts and leaders as they explore their future career paths.