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Columbia Bank

Columbia Bank Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey Joined Hands to Warm the Hearts of the Homeless with Blankets of Hope

May 30, 2022


Columbia Bank Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, and Blankets of Hope, have once again teamed up to make a difference in the lives of the homeless and other New Jersyans in need, by wrapping the less fortunate in the comfort of warm blankets. 1,536 “Blankets of Hope” were gifted to community members at shelters, military clubs and other nonprofits, to help uplift spirits and offer compassion.

Purchased by the Columbia Bank Foundation, the blankets were distributed to several Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey chapters, where children participated in Blankets of Hope’s “Kindness Workshop.” Youths were led through an empathy exercise to imagine what it’s like to experience homelessness, then created colorful, handwritten notes of hope, love and encouragement, to pair with each blanket. The heartwarming, inspiring gifts were then delivered to local shelters and other organizations.

Said Allyson Schlesinger, Executive Vice President, Head of Consumer Banking for Columbia Bank, and board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, “Columbia Bank and the Columbia Bank Foundation are always seeking meaningful ways to give back to the New Jersey community. We were thrilled to continue our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey and Blankets of Hope, and assist with a program that’s truly rewarding on so many levels.”

Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey contributors and blanket recipients are:

Boys & Girls Club in NJ Chapters:

  • Atlantic City
  • Camden County
  • Clifton
  • Cumberland County
  • Garfield
  • Hawthorne
  • Hudson County
  • Newark
  • Northwest


Shelters/Organizations in Need:

  • Covenant House, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Joseph’s House, Camden, NJ
  • NJ Family Promise of Morris County, Morristown, NJ
  • Cumberland Family Shelter, Vineland, NJ
  • Center for Hope and Safety, Rochelle Park, NJ
  • Paul DCD, Paterson, NJ, Good Shepherd, Paterson, NJ & Paterson Task Force, Paterson, NJ
  • York Street Project, Jersey City, NJ
  • Covenant House, Newark, NJ
  • Eva’s Village, Paterson, NJ


Military Club:

  • Earle NJ Navy Youth Center - HAB Core, Asbury Park, NJ
  • Fort Dix Youth Center - Fort Dix, NJ
  • Lakehurst Navy Youth Center - Lakehurst, NJ
  • McGuire Youth Center - Joint Base: McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst, NJ


“We are incredibly grateful to the Columbia Bank Foundation for once again providing grant support to facilitate the Blankets of Hope program. This meaningful project engaged Club youth at Boys & Girls Clubs across New Jersey in an impactful service-learning experience focused on empathy and kindness. We want to thank the Columbia Bank team members for continuing this rewarding experience at Boys & Girls Clubs in local communities,” said Susan Haspel, State Director for Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey. Michael Fiorito, Founder Blankets of Hope added, “Thanks to the continued support of the Columbia Bank Foundation, there will be endless ripples of hope, love, and kindness spreading through New Jersey for years to come!”


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