January 5, 2017
Investors Bank Foundation Grants Assist Volunteer Center of South Jersey
Supports Family Volunteer and New Work Programs
ROBBINSVILLE, New Jersey – The Volunteer Center of South Jersey (VCSJ) has received additional support for its Family Volunteer Program and its new SJWorks program, thanks in part to grants from the Investors Foundation and Roma Community Bank Foundation totaling $7,000.
VCSJ coordinates a series of events for the program and supports two main family volunteer efforts each year. In the fall, VCSJ joins with GenerationOn and Disney Friends for Change for Family Volunteer Day, a national event which takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving. In the spring, VCSJ partners with Family Strengthening Network for the South Jersey Family Day of Service which takes place over three days, usually the weekend before Memorial Day. Both of these events are designed to inspire and empower families to serve the community together.
SJWorks, according to VCSJ Executive Director Michele Epifani, is a new program for those who are unemployed or underemployed. SJWorks opens doors for these individuals to allow them to give back to their community, participate in unlimited networking, and learn new skills – all at the same time. These activities make individuals more marketable and/or productive for employers, and increase their odds of finding work. The Volunteer Center assists SJWorks’ participants in making that connection to non-profit organizations. “Our program gets participants out of the house, networking and honing their skills,” said Epifani. “Times of unemployment can be a low point in someone’s life. So, why not engage in something that makes you feel good and possibly lead to a new career?”
Epifani said that SJWorks’ participants have access to program staff, services, and resources, as well as in-person training and one-on-one consultation, web interface, email, and telephone support. She said that a cornerstone of the program is a five-part workshop series which covers finances (budgeting), employability, healthy lifestyle, volunteering and networking.
VCSJ applied for the grants from the Investors and Roma Community Bank Foundations, which support non-profit organizations that enrich the diverse communities served by Investors Bank. Roma Bank became part of Investors Bank in December 2013.
“The Investors Foundation and Roma Community Bank Foundation grants provide a ripple effect throughout the communities and nonprofits we serve,” explained Epifani. “Last year’s Family Day of Service included 1,492 volunteers who worked on 48 projects in six counties. More than $7,000 was raised and in excess of 15,000 meals were made for food-insecure locations. These grants will help continue those efforts, and will assist SJWorks in giving people experience and networking opportunities by volunteering at non-profits.”
“Investors Bank is about community and giving back to the communities we serve,” said Investors Bank Assistant Vice President and Williamstown Branch Manager Shannon Morgan-Leonen, “so supporting the Volunteer Center of South Jersey is a perfect fit for us. The Center’s work benefits so many people and has a wide-ranging impact on the southern New Jersey region.”
Photo Caption: Investors Bank’s Assistant Vice President and Williamstown Branch Manager Shannon Morgan-Leonen (second from left) presents checks from the Investors and Roma Bank Community Foundations totaling $7,000 to, from left, Volunteer Center of South Jersey Board President Cody Miller Executive Director Michele Epifani, and Board member Marguerite Stubbs.