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Neighborhood House Closes Gap, Needs $10K More

In one week, center cuts shortfall in half, nears reaching fundraising goal of $50K.

The which provides educational and recreational programs daily to about 1,500 people across Morris County, is halfway toward closing its fundraising shortfall after raising $10,000 in just one week.

NJ.com reported last week that the program, which is in the middle of its summer day camp, had been $20,000 short of its $50,000 goal and needed to make a quick turnaround to support its programs, and faced the possibility of charging more for participation.

But Executive Director David Walker said Thursday the Neighborhood House has raised about $10,000 in one week, closing the fundraising goal in half.

"The response has been very positive, very rewarding," Walker said. "And with another push, we're very confident that we'll be able to achieve that $50,000 mark."

Walker said he owes the fast response to word of mouth and exposure from local media.

"People support what we're doing," he said. "By providing a fun, positive experience for kids during the day when school is not in session, we're enabling parents to work and support their families, so people support that."

The program runs throughout the year at , Morristown, Dover, Randolph and Denville, helping low-income families and people of all ages from infants to adults, with education, career, arts and sports programs.

The summer day camp is currently in session, with children from first to eight grade participating in the programs.

The summer camp provides a number of educational programs, such as a reading program, to encourage kids to keep up with learning during the summer.

"The academic component of all of our programs, but especially right now the summer day camp program, is fun and educational," Walker said. "We want our kids to be prepared to excel in school when they go back in the fall."

The summer camp has already seen some cutbacks from the decline in donations, such as using more volunteers and scaling back on group trips.

With the goal of promoting community stability and economic growth while helping immigrant families transition, Walker said the Neighborhood House still needs all the support it can get.

A lot of the recent donations, he said, have been from new donors, which he thinks is going to be the driving force behind getting to the $50,000 mark.

The largest donation the program saw last week was when one person contributed $2,500. Most of the donations, Walker said, were smaller amounts ranging from $25 to $500.

Walker said this is the first time in five years that the Neighborhood House has fallen behind on making its goal by the July mark, and said it's because several of the larger donors have reduced the amount they have given. The decline in donations is a reflection of the economy, he said.

If you would like to make a donation for the programs, visit the Neighborhood House website.

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