Donor Highlights

It is with deep gratitude that we recognize and acknowledge our donors for their continued dedication and support of Interfaith Neighbor’s mission, programs and services across Monmouth County. Together we are committed to giving young people the resources to reach their potential, providing individuals with the access and support to lead successful lives and connecting neighbors so they can come together for the common good.


Donor Highlight | OceanFirst Foundation | November 2018

OceanFirst Grants Propel Local Career Training

The OceanFirst Foundation has awarded a grant of $10,000 to be used for

Katherine B. Durante, Executive Director of the OceanFirst Foundation presents grant to Interfaith Neighbors Kula Cafe Hospitality Training Program participants and program staff.

Interfaith Neighbors’ Kula Café Hospitality Training Program and our new SOAR career pathway program that will launch in 2019.

“The OceanFirst Foundation has been a steady funding partner for Interfaith Neighbors, and we thank the foundation for supporting programs to develop meaningful career choices and economic stability for local residents,” said Senior Development Officer Stephanie A. Ferrier.

Founded in 1902, OceanFirst Bank created its foundation in 1996 with a $13.4 million endowment approved by the bank’s depositors. The foundation is based in Toms River. Since that time, more than $35 million in grants have been awarded to help families, organizations, schools and communities in central and southern New Jersey. The foundation’s target areas include housing, youth development and education, quality of life, health and wellness, and the arts.

“OceanFirst is proud to partner with Interfaith Neighbors to help empower our neighbors with the skills and training they need to succeed in today’s workforce,” said Executive Director Katherine B. Durante.  “We look forward to seeing the program participants achieve their employment goals.”

Donor Highlight | Mary Owen Borden Foundation | September 2018

Our first grant supporter has never stopped giving!

Thirty years ago, the Mary Owen Borden Foundation gave a newly-launched  Interfaith Neighbors its first grant to help carry out a mission to prevent families from becoming homeless.

This year, as we celebrate 30 years of serving the community, we would like to remember that very first grant and express our appreciation of that foundation that  has been with us all the way.

“Mary Owen Borden was the first, and has supported us consistently year in and year out,” says Executive Director Paul McEvily.

“Originally, the grants were for the homeless program, and then, beyond that, the Foundation has had a particular interest in supporting the revitalization of Asbury Park,” McEvily said. “They’ve provided funding for our workforce development program, neighborhood revitalization, the Kula Cafe and Kula Urban Farm.”

Because of Mary Owen Borden’s interest in Asbury Park and revitalization, the foundation asked McEvily to join its Board of Trustees. “They were intent of having representation on their board from an agency that provides frontline services for the communities they support,” he said.

Bertram H. Borden founded the Mary Owen Borden Foundation in 1934 to honor his wife shortly after her death. In the early decades, the foundation funded local charities and  projects at Victory Park, Rumson High School, Monmouth Medical Center and the Manhatten School of Music.

In recent decades, Mary Owen Borden has focused on the needs of disadvantaged youth and their families in New Jersey’s Mercer and Monmouth Counties. That focus on disadvantaged families led Mary Owen Borden to become a strong supporter of Interfaith.

Just as it did 30 years ago, the Foundation continues to support our program to prevent homelessness. The latest grant of $15,000, for which we are thankful, was awarded in June 2018.

Donor Highlight | Mid-Atlantic Regional Group Charitable Foundation

Interfaith Neighbors is one of five charity organizations to be beneficiaries of Mid Atlantic Resource Group Charitable Foundation’s successful Diamond Jubilee Gala, which was held on April 14, 2018 at Battleground Country Club.

Each organization, which includes Lunch Break, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, Allaire Community Farm, RallyCap

Sports and Interfaith Neighbors, is receiving $10,000, said Linda Blum, president of the foundation’s Board of Trustees.

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Arthur B. Hodes founded Mid Atlantic Resource Group, LLC. in 1975. MARG provides personal insurance, investment advice and employee benefits to its clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.  MARG Charitable Foundation was formed 10 years ago when, along with MARG’s founder, other employees in the Wall-based company wanted to give back to the community.

“We are a pass-through charity.  It is rewarding to make a difference in the lives of others, whether the cause is health-related issues, special needs or groups supporting their community,” said Blum who also is MARG’s marketing director. “Whatever the cause is, it’s a wonderful feeling to hand out $50,000.”

The foundation’s first gala was held 10 years ago and the annual event has grown ever since. The foundation usually chooses two or three charities to benefit each year, Blum said. Because this was the 10th year, they decided to bring back five of the charities from the past and raise enough money to give each $10,000. The gala grossed over $80,000. “It was our best gala yet, Blum said.

The foundation’s mission is to support a culture of service within the firm while providing a way to collectively raise awareness as well as the financial resources of children and families in need in the areas MARG serves.


Donor Highlight | Friends  of the Spring Lake Five

The growth of the highly popular Spring Lake Five Mile Run from 500 runners in 1977 to the 12,500 today has seen the event’s proceeds not only benefit the town’s recreation program, local clubs and volunteer organizations but neighborhoods, youth and families beyond Spring Lake’s borders. Interfaith Neighbors is one of many beneficiaries of the race and the link to how that came about in the past eight years is Interfaith Neighbors’ Trustee, Walter “Chip” Craig, who has lived with his family in Spring Lake since 1995.In 2001, Craig and four other town residents formed the not-for-profit Friends of the Spring Lake 5, donating all net proceeds from the annual event to worthy organizations and programs. “As trustees of the event, we felt very fortunate to live in a town like Spring Lake,” he said.  “You don’t have to look too far from our town to see that what we do through the race could help other communities. We wanted to reach out and broaden our giving to other communities,’’ Craig said.Craig says he first learned of Interfaith Neighbors in 2009 at his church, St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Spring Lake. After an initial meeting with Interfaith directors Joe Marmora and Paul McEvily, Chip scheduled a meeting for the Friends of the Spring Lake 5 trustees to hear more about Interfaith. “It was easy to understand their mission and the purpose of their activities,” he remembers. “Interfaith had such a track record of performance, achievement and integrity that they were a perfect spot for our support.”As a result, the Friends made their first donation to enable the purchase of a replacement delivery truck for Interfaith’s Meals On Wheels program. “That was our first step out – our first meaningful donation outside what had been our traditional pattern of donations,” Craig said. McEvily says, “And that was the start of this beautiful, supportive friendship with the Race.”Following that initial donation, the Spring Lake 5 has continued to support Interfaith Neighbors. Their next donation helped to equip the Kula Café kitchen. “We also made a significant donation to help complete the construction of the Kula Farm greenhouse,” Craig said. “We followed that donation with a donation for the Kula delivery truck and for a security system at Springwood Center. Just this past year, we made a donation to enable Interfaith to start the Farm Without Borders program, which is the community garden created on Springwood Avenue.” The group also recently provided seed money to start developing the program model for Career Corp, an expansion of the workforce development program operated at the Kula Café into other industries.”They’ve consistently supported the Business Development Center, café and farm as they like to support the innovative and new social enterprise initiatives, particularly if it benefits youth or young adults,” McEvily said.Interfaith Neighbors is just one of dozens of groups supported in and outside of Spring Lake by the road race, which has become one of the largest runs in the country. The list of other organizations benefitting from their support includes, among others, the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, Lunch Break and Collier Youth Services, Craig said.Since 2001, it is estimated that the Friends of the Spring Lake 5 have donated over $2.1 million to local charities, volunteer organizations, town initiatives and Spring Lake Recreation. “We plan on continuing our support of Interfaith Neighbors,” Craig said. “It has been one a remarkable organization to work with. The creative community programs they initiate and carry through to impact are the kind of programs and organizations we want to support.”Mr. Craig is an attorney and the managing partner of Coast Capital Partners LLC.


The Interfaith Neighbors Network