About Our Projects and Initiatives Award
Updated: May 25
By Mary Segers
In 2004 Caroline Madison, Ph.D. a long-time member of the Summit College Club, established an endowment of $10,000 to create the Summit College Club Foundation Projects and Initiatives Fund. The stated goal was “to promote equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.” In addition, funds were to be “used for local, state, national or worldwide community projects or initiatives, alone or in partnership with other organizations.”
Each year, the SCCF donates the income (less 10% to be added to the endowment) to an organization approved by the SCCF Board after a recommendation from the committee. The SCCF Projects and Initiatives Committee consists of two Directors of the SCCF and one member appointed biennially by the SCCF Board. This year, the Committee consists of Susan Kogan, Mary Segers, and Kathryn Brock. The Policies (quoted in this article) further mandate that the membership should be informed about the projects being funded.
In 2019, the funds were donated to PATHWAYS, which serves North-Central New Jersey providing free support, education and wellness programs for women with cancer. In 2020 the award went to St. Joseph’s Social Service Center in Elizabeth to support the Food Insecurity Program serving sandwiches for 400 people per day, hot meals each weekend for 250 people, and bags of food monthly to registered families. In 2021, the award was shared by two agencies---The 28 Days Project and the Period Initiative of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey---which combat period poverty by providing health products every month to women and girls in need.
This year, the award will be shared by two partner agencies who address the critical need for housing of migrants and the homeless. One World One Love NJ is a volunteer-run organization of ordinary citizens working together to welcome refugees--- all children, women and men fleeing war, trauma or persecution abroad. With 300 active volunteers and 15 partner agencies, One World One Love NJ supports resettlement agencies and has set up over 150 households and provided a variety of services to individuals from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria. New Jersey is home to one of the 4 processing hubs for the incoming evacuees from Afghanistan, so the need is urgent. Once the individuals or families are settled in fully furnished apartments, their need for other services (such as language instruction and legal assistance) is addressed. See their website for more information (oneworldonelovenj.org).
Warehouse NJ partners with One World One Love NJ in providing necessary furniture and furnishings for these apartment homes. Founded by Kim Sleeman, a resident of Short Hills, The Warehouse NJ accepts donations of good, slightly used furniture which is then stored in a large warehouse in Orange. This nonprofit works with other agencies to address the needs of women and children leaving domestic violence shelters as well as refugees from abroad. They work with nine other organizations to furnish apartments for people starting over. There is a video on their website (thewarehousenj.org).