Jerry Swon has a longstanding interest in volunteering and community involvement.

Tag: help

Js The Future Of Philanthropy

The Future of Philanthropy

To say that COVID-19 has had an affect on everyone would be an understatement. There isn’t a single industry that hasn’t been impacted by the virus. While there has been a significant rise in philanthropy over the past several decades the pandemic has created a major need for more giving. 


As the nation experienced major shutdowns millions of American people were left out of work and without pay. Although so many were left struggling there was an immense number of those willing to offer a helping hand. People donated what they could to food banks and handed out meals, masks, and hand sanitizers. Furthermore, corporations stepped up and gave large amounts of money to foundations and nonprofits. 


Thus, COVID relief donations had reached $7.8 billion dollars by the middle of April. 60% of those donated dollars were reported to be from corporations, businesses, and religious organizations in the United States. Now, well into October the unemployment rate is continuing to jump, however, thankfully, so has the number of people who are donating their time and money to help others. 


It is clear that the pandemic has caused a shift in philanthropy. Many of the country’s wealthiest people have altered their priorities and found ways to give back in the present, instead of donating money towards things that may not come to fruition for years to come. 


There is a link to global health and economic prosperity which has only been highlighted during the global pandemic. Many leaders in philanthropy have moved to more transparent positions, inspiring others to do the same. Philanthropists such as MacKenzie Scott and Jack Dorsey made major contributions and commitments, publicly, setting a new standard among their wealthy peers.


Even Forbes has changed and redefined the way that it measures philanthropy. Whereas the amount of money a foundation had used to be used to measure the organization’s charitable acts, now Forbes is focused on judging the actual amount of giving that takes place. Other companies will surely follow suit, helping to make philanthropic acts happen faster and have a further impact. 


People around the world have realized that everyone can make a difference and come to fully understand the importance of giving. There are a plethora of ways to contribute to one’s community and even people who are struggling themselves have stepped up to participate in philanthropy. Although the pandemic is still creating new challenges every day, it has altered the future of philanthropy in beautiful and important ways.

Tips For Volunteering In A Soup Kitchen Jerry Swon

Tips for Volunteering in a Soup Kitchen

Volunteering your time is one of the most selfless things you can do, especially when it involves feeding those who are less fortunate. People may have a slew of reasons as to why they want to volunteer, but one thing is for certain; they want to help others. Volunteering at soup kitchen is an easy way to start your volunteer journey but, before you jump right in, here are a few tips you might want to take into consideration.

Tip #1: Be Okay With Taking Directions

When someone signs up to volunteer, they need to be okay with not being the boss. Volunteers are there to help others, not be the star of the show. If they’re not good at taking orders from others, it’s probably better to find another form of volunteering.

When volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, volunteers need to be open to doing whatever needs to be done. From cooking and serving to cleaning up afterward, having an open mind is a must. Since volunteers wear multiple hats, they also have to be flexible.

Tip #2: Proceed with Caution

When someone feels volunteering at a soup kitchen is right for them, they still need to proceed with caution. Whenever you decide to volunteer, you must make sure that you are in optimal health. Being around food when you are sick is a health risk for others.

In addition to not being ill, your attire should also be a consideration. Play it safe and wear sneakers as opposed to open-toed shoes. Also, it’s better to wear clothes that won’t be ruined by stains. Volunteers with long hair need to tie it back and wear a hairnet. Finally, if someone is allergic to latex, they also should bring their own gloves.

Tip #3: Think About The Many Ways Help

Even if the soup kitchen already has met its quota of volunteers, there are other ways to help out. People wanting to feed the needy can rally for local businesses and even their neighbors to donate any extra food they have. It’s nothing short of shocking how much food grocery stores and restaurants throw out every day.

Tip #4: Things to Consider

Helping others who are down on their luck is a noble cause. But even people with the biggest hearts might not understand the process of volunteering in a soup kitchen. Before offering to help do, ask questions and make sure it’s the right fit.

How to Build a Mindset of Inclusion _ Jerry Swon

How to Build a Mindset of Inclusion

Funding a cause can stretch across the global landscape, from arts to science to humanities and everything in between. Philanthropic work touches a variety of lives in a myriad of ways; it’s one of the unique blessings of grant funding in the first place.

One of those groups that are most often touched, but sometimes forgotten, are people with disabilities. Nearly 20% of people in the United States have at least some disability, whether a physical handicap that is evidenced by things such as a wheelchair, or a hidden disability like anxiety or depression. What’s more is that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is a whopping 64%.

The statistics are in, and people with a disability feel more ostracized and stigmatized than ever. Part of the job of being a funder is not only to provide the means by which the world can grow but that people who may feel disenchanted by others can be included as well.

Here are a few ways they can do precisely that:

  1. Encourage Organizations to Adapt. Although funders are not explicitly in charge of the organizations that they support, they still hold a considerable amount of influence on the operations that the entity partakes in. By encouraging – or, to take it a step further and mandating it as a condition of the grant – organizations to make themselves more accessible by providing ramps or socially-safe activities, they can influence a group to become more inclusive.


  1. Communicate Accessibility. One of the struggles that many people with disabilities face is who to contact in case they need to make special accommodations. Provide a number or contact information on all event or program materials that will get people in contact with the proper people. Furthermore, communicate on your material loudly that this organization is striving to be inclusive: anticipate activities or accommodations that people might suggest and describe them in detail.


  1. Prioritize Inclusion. Alongside the central goal of an organization – whether that goal is to spread education, combat poverty, or something else – the funder and the group need to prioritize inclusion among their own ranks. Actively recruit people with disabilities and value them for their vital contribution to their time. Once a group begins to break down the walls that divide us as humans, everything else falls into place.


5 New Jersey Organizations you Should be Volunteering at

Volunteering at organizations gives us a chance to give back to our community. By volunteering it allows one to connect with others as well as develop new skills and experiences. Whatever reason your reason for volunteering, it is an excellent opportunity to get yourself involved in the community. If you are ever in the New Jersey area and have some extra time on your hands, try volunteering at any of these organizations.

  1. Community FoodBank of New Jersey

Location(s): 31 Evans Terminal Hillside, NJ 07205

40 years ago, Community FoodBank of New Jersey started in the back of a station wagon. Now over 200 employees dedicate their time to fighting hunger and poverty. Through its employees, community volunteers, and donors Community FoodBank of New Jersey aims to educate, feed, and empower those who need help.

How to Sign Up: You can fill out this form.

  1. Market Street Mission

Location(s): 9 Market Street Morristown, NJ 07960

Since 1989, the Market Street Mission has served over 90,000 meals. The Market Street Mission makes it their mission to the meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs through ministering to the homeless.By assisting individuals through Christ, the Market Street Mission aims to guide individuals out of poverty, addiction, and lead productive lives.

How to Sign Up: Contact Market Street Mission Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Kate Kelly, at

(973) 538-6337 or

  1. Friends of Linden Animal Shelter (FOLAS)

Location(s): Range Road Linden, NJ 07036

FOLAS is run entirely by volunteers and has saved over one thousand animals. Formed in 2000, its volunteers aim at finding permanent homes for animals. Volunteers help with fundraising as well as socializing and taking care of the cats and dogs.

How to Sign Up: Fill out a volunteer application.

  1.  Good Grief

Location(s): 38 Elm St, Morristown, NJ 07960

5 Mapleton Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540

Good Grief aims to provide support to children, teens, adults, and families after the passing of parents or siblings. Good Grief utilizes education, advocacy, and interactive peer support programs. View an extensive list on all of the volunteer opportunities you can participate in.

How to Sign Up: To get involved fill out a form.

  1. St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

Location(s): Madison Adoption Center: 575 Woodland Ave. Madison, NJ 07940

Training and Behavior Center: 575 Woodland Ave. Madison, NJ 07940

North Beach Adoption Center: 3201 Route 22 East North Branch, NJ 08876

Noah’s Ark Adoption Center: 1915 US Route 46 Ledgewood, New Jersey, 07852

Open for almost 80 years, St. Hubert’s is dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals. The organization offers many community services which include but is not limited to, a pet helpline, a pet food pantry, and spay/neuter options. As a volunteer, you can also foster an animal, walk dogs, socialize with cats, and lend a helping hand at any of the facilities.

How to Sign Up: First read these steps and then fill out an application.

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