Neighbor 2 Neighbor

Responding to the Needs of
Madison Residents

For twenty-five years, The Madison Foundation has partnered with donors to improve the lives of all residents. Generous individuals, families, and organizations have established funds and built our endowment to ensure the longevity of our resources for generations.

Mission

To improve the lives of Madison residents in crisis by helping them meet their most basic needs.

Vision

Being a readily available source of funding to help people through challenging times so that they can thrive in an atmosphere of kindness and respect.

Who We Are.

Neighbor to Neighbor, the largest component fund of the Madison Foundation, is an organization dedicated to serving the most vulnerable in the community. Helping people meet their most basic needs–food, shelter, safety, and wellbeing–is central to our mission. Created in response to the Great Recession of 2008, N2N acts as a safety net for Madison residents in crisis.

What We Do?

Neighbor to Neighbor works with Madison Youth and Family Services and Senior Services to assist people facing financial hardship brought on by the rising cost of living, unemployment, or illness. We believe that all people should live with dignity. Neighbor to Neighbor strives to help those in our community who are struggling by offering financial support when all the local, state, and federal assistance programs have been exhausted.

We provide energy and housing assistance to support those facing long, cold winter days without heat or shelter. Neighbor to Neighbor donates gift certificates to the local grocery stores to ensure that no one goes hungry. Additionally, we provide personal care items to the food pantry and manage the weekly food deliveries to homebound residents. We partner with the Senior Center to provide qualified seniors with free or highly subsidized lunches.

One of children’s basic human needs is fun. Neighbor to Neighbor provides scholarships for teens to attend Camp Hazen, a YMCA camp in Chester, CT. In operation since 1920, Camp Hazen offers children a chance to experience a traditional day camp and develop valuable life skills. Neighbor to Neighbor believes that investing in our youth today–strengthening their minds and bodies through play–will pay long term benefits in the future.

Our Impact?

We organize volunteers, solicit funding, and raise awareness of the ever present and growing need for assistance within Madison. Many in our community live with little or no savings and are a paycheck away from financial ruin.

Neighbor to Neighbor helps approximately a hundred families a year who are struggling to make it. These numbers have remained consistent since our founding in 2008. With the arrival of the coronavirus in March 2020, the number of people seeking help began to skyrocket. We saw a 64% percent increase in requests for support.

Neighbor to Neighbor led the charge to respond to the financial and health crisis brought on by the pandemic. A generous contribution from the Guilford Savings Bank launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Within six weeks, caring donors contributed more than $120,000 to support those in need. Working through Madison Youth and Family Services, Neighbor to Neighbor provided relief checks to Madison residents struggling to make ends meet.

We broke all past giving records since the start of the pandemic. Emergency grants to individuals and families have exceeded $225,000. The virus cast a bright light on the economic disparities within our community and affirmed the importance of helping our neighbors facing challenging times.

Annual levels of giving

Our Story

Neighbor to Neighbor was started by Laurie and Jack Heflin, founding members of The Madison Foundation, following the Great Recession of 2008. This financial crisis brought on by the collapse of the housing market saw the net worth of average Americans decline by more than 20 percent. The cost of home heating oil soared to nearly $4 per gallon. The Heflins, longtime residents of Madison, felt they needed to respond to the needs of those less fortunate.

Laurie had served on the board of the Foundation and knew that their mission precluded them from helping individuals. She saw the immediate need to create a fund to provide people a helping hand.

She launched a grassroots effort to rally support from family and friends. Their first priority was stocking the shelves of the food pantry. In the early days, Laurie and her band of volunteers made regular runs to Costco to buy supplies. She quickly realized that this effort was bigger than her small group and required the help of the community at large. Out of a desire to help those struggling in the community, Neighbor to Neighbor was born. It has since grown to become the Foundation’s largest fund and one of the most visible charities in Madison.

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