Our commitment to keeping New Jersey healthy
Our community-based partners helped make lives healthier in 2021. See how.
The one thing that’s definitely not in short supply this holiday season is caring.
Whether it’s driving a neighbor to a vaccine appointment or talking with a friend about mental health or volunteering at a local food bank, New Jerseyans continue to look out for one another. And no matter what our communities need, Horizon has consistently been there to support them.
This year, when caring may have been more in need than ever, Horizon has supported 74 nonprofit and community-based organizations and awarded $2.1 million in corporate contributions for their efforts.
And through its philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, we made significant investments to improve the health and quality of life for New Jersey’s residents by awarding 68 grants totaling $7.7 million.
From expanding access to care to addressing food insecurity to educating the public about opioid misuse and substance use disorders, these grants support Horizon’s Pledge and work to give New Jerseyans equitable access to the resources and support they need to live healthier lives.
The Foundation’s Matching Gifts program also provided more than $1.2 million in employee gift matches the last two years, driven by an increase in participation, to help hundreds of nonprofits.
“As the pandemic has continued to be part of the daily challenges we face the last two years, our commitment to serving our members and the community-at-large remains a top priority,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Foundation. “We will continue to work closely with all of our partners to support our communities as they recover and continue to address the most critical health needs in our State.”
What is the real-life impact of these dollar figures? Here’s just a sampling of how Horizon’s social responsibility initiatives have benefited New Jersey.
- Tackling obesity. A $100,000 grant to Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) in Hillside supports a project that provides access to fresh, healthy foods for children and families to address obesity. This organization also received a $25,000 disaster relief grant in response to Hurricane Ida.
- Addressing the opioid epidemic. Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, in Millburn, received a $380,000 grant to launch phase three of the Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative aimed at educating students and student-athletes about the personal impact and potential dangers of misusing prescription painkillers.
- Increasing access to diverse dental care. Here in New Jersey – like elsewhere in the country – there is a lack of diversity in dentistry. Rutgers University Foundation, in New Brunswick, received a $250,000 grant to establish a Horizon Endowed Scholarship at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in Newark to increase the representation of dentists of color in New Jersey – and to help ensure families get the dental care they need. This endowment was part of Phase 3 of The Foundation’s Kids’ Oral Health Program.
- Bolstering mental health support. First aid training can save a life until a health care professional arrives on the scene. So can Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, in Princeton, received a $50,000 grant to support the Mayors Wellness Campaign Mental Health Initiative, which provides community leaders and residents with education and MHFA training to increase understanding of mental health issues.
- Supporting education. Several signature initiatives will support educational opportunities for youth by addressing equity in the diverse communities we serve:
- Liberty Science Center, in Jersey City, received a $1,000,000 grant to support the creation and development of a STEM high school and other educational and residential area called SciTech Scity, a 30-acre Innovation Campus.
- Newark Boys Chorus School, in Newark, received a $1,000,000 grant to support renovations of the school’s new location, historic State Street School. The grant will also help endow the school’s operations and tuition-free educational opportunities to underserved, young boys of color.
- New Jersey Performing Arts Center, in Newark, received a $3,000,000 grant to develop the Cooperman Family Wellness and Arts Education and Community Center that will house after-school, summer arts training and community wellness programming on their campus and all five wards in the city.
Volunteering to make a difference
Caring takes more than writing a check. It also takes a personal commitment to spend the time effecting change.
Hundreds of Horizon employees volunteered in-person throughout our state, logging thousands of hours in support of charitable organizations this year. They spent time in activities ranging from assisting people in registering for the COVID-19 vaccine to preparing and distributing meals with the Community Foodbank of New Jersey.
“It’s part of our social responsibility to help our neighbors so everyone in New Jersey has an opportunity to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives,” Pearson said. “Although we have ongoing challenges, there is a great opportunity ahead to improve the health of our communities in every way we can.”