Men of Essex

Men of Essex

Essex County Louis Mosley, Vice President & Darryl Jeffries, Past President

Empower the Village

Empower the Village

Morris County and Beyond Ayo Sanderson Wilson, Founder and CEO & Cheryl Easley, Executive Director

Spring Street CDC

Spring Street CDC

Morristown, Morris County Cheryl Masuz, Board Member

F.O.R.T.E. House

F.O.R.T.E. House

Newark, Essex County Hanif Parker, Interim Board Chair

Bethany Baptist Church Food Pantry

Bethany Baptist Church Food Pantry

Newark, Essex County Jonathan Lee, Assistant Director & Richard Roper, Deacon of Bethany Baptist Church

New Destiny Family Success Centers

New Destiny Family Success Centers

Paterson, Passaic County Leslie Branch, Board Member & Carolyn McCombs, Executive Director

Meet our inaugural grant recipients! Each organization was nominated to receive a grant by one of our ten community-based Nominators. A Team of Selectors then reviewed all nominations. Learn more about our trust-based process here. Read on for more information about each recipient.

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Grant Recipients

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New Destiny Family Success Centers, Inc.

Paterson, Passiac County | $10,000

This organization’s mission is to foster healthy families from diverse backgrounds, reducing

isolation and building community. It serves as a “home away from home” for hundreds of families in Paterson. The Centers are community-based, “one-stop” shops that provide wrap-around resources and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. They offer programs for pregnant and nursing mothers; for pre-school and school-age children and for seniors. There is no cost to access services provided by Family Success Centers.

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Spring Street CDC

Morristown, Morris County | $7,500

Since 2011 this organization has been committed to improving the quality of life for Morris County families. Among their programs are Table of Hope, serving free meals to the community and distributing food across the county; Healthy Women, Healthy Families, which offers case management services to at-risk pregnant or post-pregnant women; and Student Outreach and Academic Reinforcement (SOAR), which offers a 5th grade tutoring program, a summer Bridge Camp and a Leadership Academy, all designed to give students a pathway to college.

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Bethany Baptist Church Food Pantry

Newark, Essex County | $5,000

The Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, operating from its location on Hartford Street in Newark,

provides emergency food and clothing to all of those in need. Now approaching its 20th year in

operation, the pantry is seen as a consistent and reliable part of the Greater Newark area’s food

insufficiency network. It is a non-profit outreach of the Bethany Baptist Church –Newark.

Although the ministry is Church and faith-based, religion is not a criterion to receive services.

The Pantry is operated solely by volunteers.

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Empower the Village

Morris County and beyond | $5,000

The mission of this data-driven organization is to restore peace, prosperity, and power to the Black community by leveraging strategic partnerships.  They seek to develop service models that empower Black people, businesses, and community organizations to reach their full potential.  The four pillars of their effort: economic prosperity and employment; education; health and wellness; policy and power. They have facilitated COVID testing and vaccination clinics for Black and Latinx people; provided educational resources on voting during a pandemic; and created an “Every Friday is Black Friday” campaign to support local Black businesses. 

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F.O.R.T.E House

Newark, Essex County | $5,000

This organization provides assistance with employment and academic readiness for formerly incarcerated students transitioning through post-secondary education. They offer reintegration services, socialization and developmental workshops; and work closely with the community to support re-entry. They work with former residents and a growing social network to recruit volunteers to donate time, effort, expertise, and money to get done what needs to be done.  F.O.R.T.E House is a community-empowered effort.

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Men of Essex

East Orange, Essex County | $2,500

Founded in 1958, Men of Essex is one of the oldest African American service organizations in New Jersey.  It is dedicated to assisting students from Essex County achieve their higher education aspirations through the Men of Essex Student Aid Fund.  They also recognize outstanding athletic and academic achievement among students enrolled in Essex County high schools. Funds are raised by members, events, corporate, civic and foundation partners.