Pascale Sykes traditionally supported social services and their use of education, coaching and informal social supports to enable families to become healthy in every way. The Foundation has always understood that financial stability is an important part of family well-being. As employment opportunities in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties declined, the Foundation decided to support families’ financial goals by encouraging economic growth desired by residents of the area.
Following guidelines established by representatives of businesses, county governments, non-profits, local residents, educators and others in a series of workgroups, Pascale Sykes began an economic initiative with two thrusts: the first to promote the 4-county area and the second to encourage small and medium size businesses to locate and expand in the area.
The four county area of focus was named New Jersey’s Heartland. With Foundation support an interactive website, NJHeartland.org, promoted events, organizations’ work, homeland heroes, and newsworthy items. Its social media accounts welcomed comments from everyone. All were invited to use the website and to contribute comments, market public events or nominate hometown heroes.
Additionally, the Foundation supported THRIVE South Jersey which provides creative loans and guidance to small businesses in New Jersey’s Heartland. Small business owners or entrepreneurs wishing to learn more about THRIVE South Jersey can access information at THRIVE South Jersey’s webpage at NewJerseyCommunityCapital.org.
The Foundation’s goal was to have New Jersey’s Heartland appreciated for its assets and enjoyed as a great place to live, establish and grow a business or visit.