Affect, a public relations and social media agency specializing in technology, healthcare and professional services, today announced it was selected by The Russell Berrie Foundation to highlight the organization and its recent emergency grants of more than $4.48 million to support COVID-19 response efforts in New Jersey and Israel. The Russell Berrie Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to making social investments and supporting innovative ideas to promote continuity and enrichment of Jewish life, advances in medicine, foster religious understanding and pluralism, and supporting vulnerable populations.
The Foundation’s $4.48 million in emergency grants to support organizations on the front lines combatting the pandemic as they deliver COVID-19 relief efforts include direct grants to medical institutions and those providing medical and healthcare-related services as well as organizations addressing the needs of vulnerable populations (the elderly, food insecure, small businesses, etc.) in the Northern New Jersey Jewish community, the broader local community and in Israel.
Affect will be working with The Russell Berrie Foundation to shine a spotlight on the important work of its grant recipients and to encourage other individuals and charitable foundations to give during this acute time of need.
The foundation follows in the footsteps of toy and gift maker Russell Berrie, founder and former CEO of Russ Berrie & Company, by envisioning the world as it could be and touching people’s lives through generosity. In his lifetime, Russ Berrie used his wealth to donate to causes such as advancements in diabetes research and care and supporting interreligious understanding . When the foundation was created in the 1980’s, Berrie began giving money to beneficiaries such as the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Englewood Medical Center, and Holy Name Medical Center – all of which still receive grants today. Angelica Berrie, President of the Berrie Foundation Board of Trustees continues the commitment to philanthropic leadership.
“When selecting an agency to assist in raising awareness for our work with our grant recipients, we were looking for an organization that not only developed relationships with the media and had a strong history communicating organizational messaging but we were also looking for an agency that aligned with our values and mission,” said Ruth Salzman, CEO of The Russell Berrie Foundation “Affect’s expertise in managing reputation, positioning and media relations, along with their entrepreneurial approach to social good, made them the right fit for our foundation.”
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with The Russell Berrie Foundation and raise awareness for the impactful projects and organizations they are supporting,” said Sandra Fathi, President at Affect. “The Foundation has demonstrated exemplary generosity and leadership in this time of crisis. Our focus is to help them achieve their mission for social good through the lens of the media and by educating the general public and philanthropic community on the importance of the critical initiatives they have chosen to fund.”