As the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation looks forward to 2010, I can not help but reflect on all the relationships we have forged and partnerships created that have enabled us to affect so many lives. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to work with many dedicated, compassionate, creative and energetic partners this past year. It has been our pleasure to see each organization challenge themselves to be better, more innovative and, of course on top of all that, incorporate “green” and environmentally friendly strategies or practices to their work.
We ended 2009 with a flurry of community activities: the Greater Camden Partnership’s Lot Stabilization Program; a November gathering of residents of the Project H.O.M.E. community in North Philadelphia; the test of a “community kitchen” concept in Red Bank, NJ; the dedication of Help Genesis JBJ Soul Homes in Newark, NJ; the funding of two affordable housing projects in Camden, NJ with Saint Joseph Carpenter Society and Heart of Camden.
My thanks to the entire JBJSF Board which has provided me with much guidance and support in formulating the goals and vision of our fledgling organization. Added thanks to Board Member Jon Bon Jovi, who was featured on the NBC Making a Difference segment, named as NBC’s first “Artist in Residence”; spoke at the United Nations World Habitat Day; performed at the launch of the United We Serve program; and helped with round-table discussions in Camden, NJ. All of these efforts assist in giving a voice to those in the community that do not have the ability to draw attention to their plight.
None of this would be possible without the dedication and support of so many people and grassroots community organizations who have provided guidance and insight into the many social issues, but have also introduced us to those in need with whom we have formed lasting relationships.
2010 brings the promise of another very active year and the dedication of our Phoenix Pass project with partner HomeAid in Conyers, GA and the Connelly House project in Philadelphia. We will also keep tabs on our two Camden “homeownership” projects as we look for other innovative ways to support this community. Going forward we pledge to continue to support each other as well as challenge our partners to better serve our most vulnerable neighbors.
Thank you for helping us to make a difference, one Soul at a time…
Mimi Baumgardner Box