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Russ Berrie Holing a Teddy Bear

Mr. Russ Berrie

“There is no greater importance in life than knowing you’ve helped a fellow human being.”
-Russ Berrie 1933-2002

The Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award is administered by Ramapo College of New Jersey

It’s Time to Nominate Unsung Heroes for the 2020 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

Since 1997, the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award has honored 366 individuals whose extraordinary service to others has made New Jersey a better place.

We call them Unsung New Jersey Heroes.

They are the people who:

  • Help others in need
  • Solve problems and transform neighborhoods
  • Bring hope to those who feel forgotten
  • Stand up for the rights of others
  • Create opportunities for young people to succeed
  • Protect the environment
  • Risk their safety to rescue someone in distress

More than $150,000 in cash awards will be given to Honorees in 2020.

  • A top award of $50,000
  • Two awards of $25,000
  • Up to seven awards of $7,500
You can nominate someone for extraordinary service that benefits people in New Jersey or for performing a heroic act in New Jersey.

Deadline for 2020 Nominations is 11:59 pm on Friday, February 21, 2020.

Questions?  Reach us by email at


Online Nomination Form