20 for 20

Grand Prize Winner

Elijah’s Promise

Let’s Cook for Kids”! The goal of this exciting new program is to expand community food security in New Brunswick by providing hands on cooking classes and nutritional information targeted to low-income youth. This transformative program represents their first initiative geared to low income children and is a great extension of Elijah’s Promise’s long history of food-related, community oriented education aimed at combating food insecurity! In partnership with the Youth Services System of the City of New Brunswick, Elijah’s Promise will conduct Let’s Cook for Kids classes to teach food preparation skills, increase nutritional knowledge, and improve access to healthy foods and eating habits. The program will serve New Brunswick youth, ages 12-16, run Monday through Thursday after school and throughout the summer, and be taught by bilingual culinary instructors. Each participant will receive eight hours of instruction and with Grand Prize support, a total of 150- 160 children will participate in the program on an annual basis.  www.elijahspromise.org

The Actors Fund

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone – performers and those behind the scenes – who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping almost 15,000 people each year and thousands more online. Serving professionals in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition since 1882. www.actorsfund.org

Children’s Specialized Hospital

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges — from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. At twelve different locations, their pediatric specialists partner with families to make many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and effective…so children can achieve more of their goals. To help, or find more information: call 888-CHILDRENS; visit www.childrens-specialized.org

WheatonArts

WheatonArts, in Millville, NJ works with a mission to engage artists and audiences in an evolving exploration of creativity. The mission is advanced through the interpretation of collections and exhibitions; education initiatives and culturally diverse public programs; residencies and other opportunities for artists. WheatonArts is home to the Museum of American Glass, one of only 8 AAM-accredited museums in N.J. and the Creative Glass Center of American, an internationally renowned artist fellowship program which offers direct support to emerging and mid-career artists who work with glass. Professional artist studios, including the dynamic WheatonArts Glass Studio, offer visitors interpretive demonstrations in various mediums. As an anchor destination for those looking for artistic and educational experiences, WheatonArts also offers museum and gallery exhibits, museum docent tours, hands-on educational opportunities for children and adults, artist residencies, seminars, multicultural programs and festivals. For more information visit www.wheatonarts.org.

Isles

With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy sustainable communities, they design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what they learn with others who can make a difference. www.isles.org

Arm in Arm

Formerly the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, Arm in Arm works as equal partners with families and individuals to overcome financial challenges and meet basic needs of food, housing, and income stability. In addition, practical and empowering learning opportunities and strength-based support provide vital pathways toward achieving longer-term stability and well-being. www.arminarm.org

George Street Playhouse

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ has become nationally-recognized professional producing theatre, known for its commitment to producing new plays and musicals. GSP’s Education Department impacts over 40,000 students annually with programs that investigate the topics of bullying, diversity, immigration, childhood obesity and the environment. www.georgestreetplayhouse.org

AECDC

The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDC) has been helping low-income people of all ages, religions, races, and ethnicities since 2000. Each year approximately 1,000 families are served through free programs providing diapers, formula, and baby clothes, as well as durable medical equipment and applications for other needs, such as health insurance. www.aecdc.org

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank

The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank leads the community response to hunger in Mercer County, channeling 2.7 million pounds of food annually to food pantries, shelters, meal sites and school sites. Their food distribution and hunger prevention programs help 30,000 people who face the pain and indignity of hunger. www.mercerstreetfriends.org

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, is a comprehensive nutrition program committed to providing nutritious meals and related services which are designed to promote the independence, dignity, and the well being of homebound customers. They turn no one away who is homebound and needs a meal. They delivered over 60,000 meals by the end of 2016. www.mowte.org

Jerusalem Shelter for Battered Women

Since its creation in 1982, the Jerusalem Shelter for Battered Women has helped hundreds of women who’ve suffered from domestic violence. The shelter provides emotional security and a place to stay. Their primary goal is ensuring the welfare of women seeking refuge and helping them leave the cycle of violence. www.jerusalemshelter.org.il

PLAN NJ

Families of individuals with disabilities need practical solutions to ensure that their loved ones are safe, secure, and thriving. Planned Lifetime Assistance of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ), a unique nonprofit agency, helps families navigate and coordinate the many financial, legal, and support services they need, now and in the future. For more information, please visit www.plannj.org.

Milwaukee College Prep

Milwaukee College Prep is a nationally recognized network of four high performing K-8 public charter schools that educates 2,000+ bright and beautiful children. Each campus received a hard-earned 5-star rating from the Department of Public Instruction — the top four of only five schools in the City to receive that rating — based on the success of their scholars who are closing the nation’s largest raced-based achievement gap. www.milwaukeecollegeprep.com

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. They empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org.

Community Hope

Community Hope’s mission is to help individuals, including veterans, and their families, overcome mental illness, addiction, homelessness and poverty by providing housing and support services. This nonprofit organization has restored hope to thousands since 1985 and is today the leading charity in New Jersey and eastern PA rescuing veterans and veteran families from homelessness and despair. www.communityhope-nj.org

Embrace Kids

Embrace Kids Foundation exists to lighten the burden, maintain normalcy and improve the quality of life for families whose children are facing cancer, sickle cell and other serious health challenges. www.embracekids.org

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative is a non-profit human rights organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. The organization was founded in 1989 by widely acclaimed public interest lawyer, Bryan Stevenson. www.eji.org

Homefront

HomeFront, founded 25 years ago, harnesses the caring, resource, and expertise of the community to help families break the cycle of poverty with a comprehensive approach based on 4 “pillars” of support: safe, secure housing; tools for self-sufficiency; a resource network to provide basic life necessities; and support for children. www.homefront.org

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read gives babies, toddlers and preschoolers a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and advising families to read aloud together. By partnering with doctors who prescribe books and advise families to read together, the model acts to improve child and family health. Nationwide they are serving 4.5 million children and in New Jersey they are serving approximately 70,000 young children. www.reachoutandread.org

Matan

Matan educates Jewish leaders, educators and communities, empowering them to create learning environments supportive of children with special needs, through training Institutes and consultations across North America. By advocating for the inclusion of diverse learners, Matan enables the Jewish community to realize the gift of every individual and fulfill its obligation to embrace all children regardless of learning challenges in every Jewish educational setting. www.matankids.org