FOLSOM — SJI (NYSE: SJI) is proud to reflect on 2020 as a year of support and giving to local communities during unprecedented times marked by a global health pandemic, significant economic contraction in our State and strained resources for social services organizations. SJI and its utility companies, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas, provided more than half a million dollars to local communities, including $100,000 to organizations that directly addressed the healthcare, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations.
Below is a snapshot of SJI’s contributions to support local communities and to help our State respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic:
• COVID-19 Donations: SJI donated $50,000 to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, as well as $25,000 from Elizabethtown Gas to the Trinitas Health Foundation, and $25,000 from South Jersey Gas to the AtlantiCare Foundation to support COVID-19 response efforts. Elizabethtown Gas also supported FeedNJ, a campaign aimed at tackling the increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic by purchasing meals from local eateries and donating them to neighborhood soup kitchens. With a donation from South Jersey Gas, the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County provided meals to hundreds of Atlantic City families affected by the pandemic.
• First Responder Grants: South Jersey Gas awarded nearly $40,000 in grants to first responder departments through its First Responders Grant Program supporting local fire, police and EMS departments. Purchases included combustible gas detectors, turn out gear and body armor, UV rapid sanitizers, K9 officer and associated training, and portable water tanks for fires in rural areas.
• Low Income Support: Elizabethtown Gas continued its longtime support of several community organizations offering social services that benefit lower income individuals and families in the service area, including Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership (NORWESCAP), Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB), Puerto Rican Organization for Community Education and Economic Development (PROCEED), and the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development (PRAHD). The company also sponsored events benefitting Josephine’s Place, Family Promise of Warren County, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, YWCA Union County, and Warren County Habitat for Humanity. South Jersey Gas’ longtime involvement in the NJ Motorsports Park Coats for Kids event evolved into a different kind of support in 2020, when the company’s grant helped fund the purchase and delivery of virtual learning equipment and supplies for needy children in 19 elementary schools, in lieu of an in person event. The South Jersey Gas Customer Outreach Team volunteered at several food distribution events in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville, where they also consulted with customers on available financial assistance programs. Additionally, the Team helped organize several food and school supplies drives with the company’s community partners.
• Education Initiatives: To assist students during an especially challenging year both mentally and financially, SJI donated in support of the education of those in need through the New Jersey Utilities Association Scholarship Program. SJI and South Jersey Gas also provided scholarships and sponsored events through Atlantic Cape Community College, Rowan University Foundation, Rowan College South Jersey of Cumberland County, Stockton University Foundation, Salem County Vo-Tech Foundation, and Junior Achievement of New Jersey. Elizabethtown Gas continued its Fueling the Future Scholarship at Union County College, which supports ten students each year who are pursuing a career in STEM. Additionally, Elizabethtown Gas provided a grant to the Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund, set up to ensure students can continue their education without roadblocks due to the pandemic. The company also supported the Sussex County Community College Foundation’s annual scholarship fundraiser.
• Healthcare Support: SJI continued longstanding support of Virtua Health Foundation, Inspira Health Foundation, Shore Medical Center, and Jefferson Health Foundation. An Elizabethtown Gas grant was instrumental in helping the Trinitas Health Foundation surpass their Giving Tuesday goal to support the purchase of new MRI machine that will be faster, more precise, and more comfortable for patients.
• Economic Development: To continue the advancement of our local economy, SJI, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas maintained support of several organizations committed to serving New Jersey’s small businesses, including the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, African American Chamber of Commerce, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, and Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce. SJI also partnered with several other economic development organizations such as the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Southern New Jersey Development Council, New Jersey Alliance for Action, New Jersey Society for Environmental and Economic Development, and Atlantic County Economic Alliance.
• Employee Giving: Through SJI’s coordinated Employee Giving Campaign, employees across our organization donated over $100,000 to support the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, American Red Cross, United Negro College Fund, Habitat for Humanity and Plainfield Area Humane Society.
• Local Youth and Sports: SJI made donations to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlantic City, Union County and Gloucester County, which completed much-needed renovations to its Paulsboro Clubhouse, including a conversion from oil to safe, reliable, affordable natural gas heat. Additionally, through the Game On Grant Program, $20,000 in grants were provided to local, community-centered children’s athletic programs that supported the purchase of equipment, uniforms, and field improvements.
“In 2021, SJI looks forward to continuing to support our community partners and expanding on our programs to have an even larger positive impact upon the communities we proudly serve,” stated Mike Renna, President and CEO, SJI.
In the coming months, South Jersey Gas will accept applications to the 2021 First Responders Grant Program and Game On Grant Program. For information on the 2021 application or to view the 2020 award winners, visit SouthJerseyGas.com/Community.