Thanks to the support received from several of Teaneck’s prominent institutions and dozens of individuals, businesses and organizations, Age-Friendly Teaneck has been awarded matching funds from A Community Thrives, a crowd-funding program from the USA TODAY NETWORK.
The Gannett Foundation announced on Oct. 5 that Age-Friendly Teaneck (through its parent organization Geriatric Services Inc) would receive a $3,000 local operating grant.
“We are thrilled and extremely appreciative,” said EJ Vizzi, project coordinator of Age-Friendly Teaneck, one of 16 non-profit organizations in New Jersey to qualify for matching funds. “Our donors’ support helped us exceed our fundraising goal, which in turn made us eligible to receive this generous grant from The Gannett Foundation.”
Large donations from Bogota Savings Bank, Cross River bank, and Holy Name Medical Center helped propel Teaneck past its minimum fund-raising goal. In all, $7,795 in on-line and off-line donations were received in the USA Today Network-led crowdfunding campaign, conducted on the Mighty Cause donor platform. For a complete list of donors, please visit Age-Friendly Teaneck’s home page.
“Age-Friendly Teaneck has been a community-led movement from its start, and community support and involvement continue to be the fuel and engine that keep us moving forward,” Vizzi said
A Community Thrives supports non-profit organizations with projects focused on community building and has helped to contribute more than $17 million since 2017.
Geriatric Services Inc. – now known as The Bright Side Family - launched Age-Friendly Teaneck in 2016 as part of a World Health Organization movement to find local solutions for the global challenge of population aging. Since then, this community-driven project has created new print and electronic media platforms, hosted health and resource fairs, sponsored a study of pedestrian safety improvements that yielded a variety of crossing upgrades at key locations, conducted successful outreach to isolated older adults, and connected young people with older adults through its Opening New Digital Doors technology training program and its Geriatric Careers Exploration Internship.
The $3,000 local operating grant from Gannett, along with the funds raised locally, will help sustain Age-Friendly Teaneck into its sixth year. Future goals include organizing Community Table events for those in need of social connections and working with Age-Friendly Teaneck’s partners and parent organization to develop a planned new community center in Northeast Teaneck into a robust hub of health/wellness programming and social/civic engagement.
“For many older residents in Teaneck who put down roots long ago, the pandemic has increased the challenges they face to affordably and comfortably age in this community,” said Elizabeth Davis, project director of Age-Friendly Teaneck and executive director of Geriatric Services Inc. “We are working with partner organizations in the region – and with Teaneck’s government, civic and faith leaders – to find ways to overcome the housing, transportation, and social-support barriers that can make a community less livable for people of all ages.”
This year, USA Today Network’s A Community Thrives campaign engaged participants in 45 states, with more than 24,000 people crowdfunding $3.1 million and the Gannett Foundation distributing an additional $2.3 million in grants.
“At Gannett, we take pride in supporting the organizations that make a positive impact in their communities,” said CEO and Chairman Mike Reed. “Through A Community Thrives, we lend financial support to that purpose as well as rally the whole community to champion a good and meaningful cause.”
Who We Are
Age-Friendly Teaneck formed in 2016 with this mission in mind: A great place to grow up should be a great place to grow old.