Why I Give

Donor Spotlight: Rocky Balsamo

Rocky Balsamo has been part of the Center’s work since our inception and his passion for and support of our mission endures to this day.

Rocky helped facilitate Catholic volunteer experiences for youth and young adults for years before playing an active role in our founding Board of Trustees. Since then, Rocky has served numerous roles with us – Board Chair and Member, volunteer Executive Director, crew chief, chaperone, handyman, advocate, fundraiser, and donor.  He is absolutely tireless in helping us to advance our mission of inspiring the next generation of servant leaders.

“After my father passed away, it was our Catholic community that kept us from falling off the grid. They weren’t moved to help us from a place of pity; it was all about their faith. With their support, Mom continued to raise us with next to nothing and yet, she was – and is – the most generous person I know. Her example has always inspired me to stretch myself sacrificially to give to things that matter.  I believe the Center’s programs are so important because they connect young people to the realness of our faith – not just because the students have a nice service experience and can pat themselves on the back.  But more importantly, because we demonstrate to them that poverty is real, it has a name, and that they can do something about it.  We provoke these kids to take action.

Rocky was the recipient of the 2011 Good Neighbor Award from the New Jersey Association of Realtors and the 2012 award of the same name from the National Association of Realtors.  In addition to his work with CFJ, Rocky is a devoted volunteer with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), collecting thousands of pounds of in-kind donations each year during his annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.  His adventures in volunteering have taken from Trenton to Appalachian West Virginia and, most recently, to Fort Liberté, Haiti.