Letter from the Executive Director
2011 has been an exciting year for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation – starting off quickly with the opening of two projects: Covenant House’s Rights of Passage residence and Project Home’s Connelly House. It was then full steam ahead with the Foundation’s expansion into discovering and finding ways to combat hunger among low-income populations, often the working poor. Through a deepening of our work with the homeless and creating affordable housing, we learned that so many families, struggling to maintain their homes, were also experiencing food insecurity issues. Whether it be not knowing where their next meal would come from or from having to make the tough decision between paying a bill or buying food for the family, we knew that to truly create a healthy home we also needed to provide opportunity for nutritious meals.
The model we selected is that of a “community kitchen” – And Soul Kitchen was born. Here, in a warm, inviting setting – where all are welcome, food is the vehicle for bringing “community” together. Many come to dine and pay the recommended donation knowing that their support will help feed those less fortunate. Those who come to dine with us who cannot afford to pay have the ability to volunteer an hour of their time in exchange for their meal. Other local community organizations that have contact with families experiencing food insecurity may utilize the volunteer services of their clients and in return provide them with a dining certificate to Soul Kitchen. This builds “community” and connection and enables access to nutritious, freshly prepared meals served with cheerfulness, kindness and respect.
The Soul Kitchen operation is one that could only work with the dedicated support of the surrounding community as well as the many, MANY volunteers that give so generously of their time and effort to make this work. A special thanks to ALL of you!!!
I’ve started this year-end wrap up and note of appreciation several times and am so overwhelmed with all the support the Foundation has received this past year, it is difficult to put it into words. Beginning with our wonderful, supportive and involved Board of Directors whose compassionately visionary direction makes it always challenging, exciting and rewarding to execute the programming – I thank you!!
Jon Bon Jovi has leveraged awareness of many issues by bringing them into the global spotlight. Forbes ranked Jon Bon Jovi’s charitable efforts first when they gauged the amount/percentage of time celebrities donated to charitable activities. Thank you Jon!
To the many who, in spite of the hard times you are experiencing yourselves, find a way to give, whether it be time or money, you are truly an inspiring and motivating presence – you are always close to our hearts and you are our Soul – I thank you!!
And to those who have chosen to quietly, without the need for attention to your actions and good deeds, given back within your communities – we thank you for recognizing that we all have the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life!!
As we enter 2012, with many exciting housing projects and partnerships on the horizon, we will need your continuing support and as our short history has shown us, we know you will be there alongside us.
So thanks to All! I wish you all good health and peace and a happy 2012!!