Salem Health and Wellness Foundation Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Funds over $58 million of Grants to Area Nonprofits Since its Inception

CARNEYS POINT, NJ – In 2002, Salem Health and Wellness Foundation was founded on the principle of promoting the health and wellness of Salem County residents. Fast forward to 2022 as the Foundation marks its 20th anniversary milestone and community impact: 350 grants totaling $58 million to local nonprofits throughout its history.

“As we look back on the impact the Foundation has had on our Salem County community, we realize it has been nothing short of significant,” says Brenda Goins, executive director. “We’re proud of the partnerships we’ve developed with incredible nonprofits in the education, healthcare and social service realm who strive to help make residents’ lives better. With the help of the grants, they accomplished incredible life-changing work!”

The Foundation supported the valuable work of nonprofit partners including nursing scholarships at Salem Community College; providing meals to homebound seniors and the disabled through the Meals on Wheels of Salem County program; the establishment of onsite medical services, client and staff support at Bancroft; mental health services for school-aged children and their families as well as counseling services for adults through Acenda.  The Foundation has also established school gardens in several Salem County schools with the help of Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Family and Community Health Sciences; supporting Habitat for Humanity’s wheelchair ramp program and helping them establish a home repair program for the disabled homeowner.  The Foundation supported Salem County Department of Health and Human Services with medical transportation for county residents and community health screenings; and the establishment of the Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative with a focus specifically on childhood obesity, and risky behaviors in teens, just to name a few.

“Additionally, an extremely impactful investment was made to Salem Medical Center. With the Foundation’s support, Salem Medical Center was able to make essential upgrades to infrastructure and medical equipment which allowed for improved services to our residents as well as a financial bridge to their new partnership with Inspira Health Network,” said Ralph Thomas, chair, board of trustees.

Lesser known but equally impactful to its nonprofit partners is the Foundation’s capacity building program, Rebound to Resiliency. This program provided nonprofit leaders with a self-assessment tool so they could discover areas within their organization that needed additional support. The Foundation then provided support through funding expert training and workshops addressing improved board governance, fundraising capabilities and creating strategic plans.

“Participants deemed this program invaluable to the work they do,” said Brenda Goins, executive director.

Additionally, in an effort to increase philanthropic giving, the Foundation established the Matching Gift Program in 2010. This program matches dollar for dollar all donations made – up to $20,000 for each organization. Individual donations combined with the Foundation’s match has totaled over $2.5 million. Unlike typical grant funds, these dollars are unrestricted.

The Foundation has also been instrumental in bringing awareness of the work of Salem County nonprofits to other funders in the state. Through its collaborative relationships across the state, the Foundation ensured other funders were aware of the great work being done in Salem County. For example, partnerships with the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network, New Jersey Health Initiatives of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Community Foundation of South Jersey, Community Foundation of New Jersey and others helped to infuse additional funding support going towards the remarkable work of our partners.

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The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation was founded in 2002 for the purpose of promoting the health and wellness of Salem County residents. Headquartered in Salem, the Foundation has made over $56 million in grants, contributions and scholarships to 68 organizations, all with the specific requirement that the funds address health problems in our county.