5 Organizations Working To Improve Lives In New Jersey

New Jersey may not get the attention of its highly-populated neighbors, but many of its communities are thriving thanks to the contributions of caring individuals. These groups are working to improve the state by putting resources to work where they're needed most. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Tireless Organizations Working in New Jersey

Name Focus
Advocates for Children of New Jersey Non-partisan group that works with local, state, and federal leaders to identify and implement changes that will benefit children, resulting in more effective funding and stronger services for families
Military Park Partnership Aims to revitalize Military Park into a signature public space for the people of Newark and create a vibrant and dynamic outdoor space that will help energize the surrounding city
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Includes the Performing Arts School, New Jersey Youth Symphony, and Paterson Music Project, making up the state's largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving 1,500 students
Northern New Jersey Community Foundation Improves community life through its work in education, public health, civic engagement, the arts, philanthropy, and the environment, addressing critical issues by promoting collaboration
Push to Walk Specially-equipped gym and resource center that provides adaptive exercise opportunities for individuals dealing with spinal cord injuries and other forms of paralysis to optimize quality of life and prepare for future medical advancements

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In Depth

New Jersey is known for its beautiful beaches, amazing food, and diverse cultures. Despite media narratives disparaging the state revolving around drugs and crime, there are many organizations working to ensure everyone has a fair shot. In no particular order, here are five organizations dedicated to improving communities in New Jersey.

First up at #1 is Advocates for Children of New Jersey, a group that works with leaders at local, state, and federal ranks to create better laws and policies that will benefit the kids living within the state. The organization is the most famous and respected research and advocacy group for kids in New Jersey since it came into being in 1978. Since then, it has made significant strides in its efforts to give all young ones a fair chance by influencing legislation, publishing reports, and its child-centered programs.

ACNJ's objective is to help all children grow up healthy, safe, and educated so that they can become productive adults. The organization has run campaigns such as the Food For Thought Campaign, a statewide collaboration of agencies and health organizations to give more kids summer and after-school meals. Help the group raise awareness of the needs of children by making a contribution on its website.

Help the group raise awareness of the needs of children by making a contribution on its website.

At #2 is Military Park Partnership, which works to make Military Park a public space where the residents of Newark can interact, engage in fun activities, or relax. The grounds used to be known as Middle Commons back in 1666 when Newark was founded. It was used as a training area during the French and Indian War as well as a campground for George Washington's troops during the American Revolution.

Military Park is known as Newark's green jewel because it has a variety of trees, shrubs, and uncommon flowers such as tulips and daffodils. Also within the grounds are monuments of historical figures sculpted by iconic sculptors from Newark. The park offers various programs for the people of Newark to enroll in such as weekly fitness programs, arts and culture courses, as well as amenities for the kids to use such as arts and crafts material and reading sessions.

Coming at #3 is the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. The organization aims to offer the highest quality education to a diverse group of talented students in a supportive and inclusive environment. It also houses the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Paterson Music Project that serve over 1,500 students, making it the largest independent non-profit group as a performing arts education center.

The organization aims to offer the highest quality education to a diverse group of talented students in a supportive and inclusive environment.

The Paterson Music Project provides tuition-free musical training to students where the learners are trained on how to play musical instruments for an average of 6 hours every week. The New Jersey Youth Symphony offers young talented musicians with education programs that will see them reach their highest potential as performers. Help the organization make a positive impact on children through art by donating musical instruments or supporting them financially.

For #4 we have the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with local governments, businesses, and school districts to address critical issues. It seeks to improve the region through its collaborative efforts in public health, education, civic engagement, and the environment. The NNJCF was founded in 1988 by a group of Rotarians as the Englewood Community Foundation but was renamed in 2011 after it expanded its geographical reach across the surrounding regions.

The NNJCF runs an arts initiative known as ArtsBergen that promotes collaborative activities between artists and arts organizations in the communities they call home. It also serves donors by helping them establish and manage a wide range of funds with respect to the donors' interests and concerns. Consider making a contribution to the group to help it sustain its operations.

Consider making a contribution to the group to help it sustain its operations.

Finally, at #5, is Push to Walk, a specially equipped gym that offers adaptive exercises to people dealing with traumatic injuries. The Oakland-based organization was founded by Darren and Cynthia Templeton in 2007 and has since built a community of clients, trainers, families, and researchers. It strives to serve people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, or other forms of paralysis with the aim of positively optimizing their quality of life.

PTW works with trainers to provide specific exercises and activities referred to as 'Activity Based Training' so each of their members can lead a productive life. Their gym is designed to allow each individual to work at their own pace once they have completed physical therapy. Make a minimum donation of $25 and assist PTW in its efforts on helping injured people regain the ability to do daily tasks.