Nominations for the 2014 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference will be accepted by The Russell Berrie Foundation through February 14.
New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act are eligible for cash awards of up to $50,000 or runner-up grants of $5,000 each. Members of the community are invited to nominate New Jersey residents whose deeds, carried out in the state, make them worthy of recognition.
Established in 1996 by the late Russell Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. and the Russell Berrie Foundation, and Ramapo College of New Jersey, the awards honor “unsung heroes” from throughout the state. Awards will be presented at a ceremony on April 30, 2014.
Last year, the top honorees included a woman who established an emergency shelter during Hurricane Sandy at her church and continued, with the help of volunteers, to assist her neighbors during and after the storm; a 24-year-old who saved the life of a woman who accidently fell on the tracks in the path of an oncoming train; the founder of an organization that provides services to homeless veterans in Newark’s Penn Station; and a woman who helps impoverished families who strive to achieve economic independence.