Has an Unsung New Jersey Hero touched your life? Now is the time to nominate him or her for the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.

The award honors one New Jersey hero every year with a $50,000 cash award. Two others receive $25,000 each and several others get $7,500. It’s easy to nominate someone. Just click here and take a few minutes to complete the online form. The deadline is February 12; winners are announced in May.

"As we celebrate the award’s 25th anniversary, we want to honor those who show that nothing is more important in life than helping a fellow human being,” says Angelica Berrie, President of the Russell Berrie Foundation. “2020 was a challenging year – with the devastation of COVID-19, the loss of lives, businesses, and social connections, and appalling incidents of racial injustice.”

The Making a Difference Award exists because an extraordinary man wanted to celebrate the work of unsung heroes and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Russ Berrie was an innovative entrepreneur who created a toy and gift company known by its slogan, “Make Someone Happy.”

Making a Difference Award honorees come from all walks of life, all across New Jersey. They solve community problems, transform neighborhoods, and stand up for the rights of others. In short, they put others above themselves.

Someone you know could be the next recipient, so nominate your Unsung New Jersey Hero today!