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Former MEND Resident Pays it Forward With Back to School Sneaker Gift Card Donation to Children of MEND

MOORESTOWN, NJ (September 14, 2022) – Cybil Jackson, a former MEND resident, remembers how good it felt when the Moorestown community stepped in to lend a helping hand during her time of need.  And now, she’s paying it forward by donating $50 sneaker gift cards to 25 school-aged children of MEND in Moorestown.

Back in 2011, the recently divorced mother of two young children lost her job during the mortgage crisis.  She decided to go back to school to be a respiratory therapist but living on a fixed income while attending school wasn’t easy. Fortunately, her mother read about MEND in the local newspaper and urged Cybil to look into housing.

After completing the required paperwork and qualifying for housing, Cybil became a resident of MEND’s Baylor Arms apartment community in Moorestown for nearly five years. During that time, she fondly recalls how people in the Moorestown community provided backpacks for the beginning of the school year and gifts during the holiday season. 

“As a parent, these thoughtful donations took the stress away so I didn’t have to figure out how I would purchase items for my children,” said Cybil. “I’m so grateful for MEND – they were a stepping stone and made it possible for me to complete my education and jump start a career, and raise my children in a safe and wonderful environment.”

Today, Cybil is a successful respiratory therapist and resides in Moorestown with her husband William and two kids – now 19 and 17 –  and is at the point in her life where she can help others. While Cybil’s family have ventured into the inner city to feed homeless people, she really wanted to do something to help people in her own community and came up with the sneaker gift card donation. 

“After all, every kid wants a new pair of sneakers for school and I thought the gift card would help alleviate a little stress off of parents.” Cybil, her children Chayse and Tamia Shannon were on hand during the recent festivities – helping to pay it forward to a future generation.”

About MEND

Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Inc. (MEND) is a private, nonprofit, housing development organization founded by several Moorestown churches in 1969. MEND is a national and state award-winning developer dedicated to providing safe and affordable rental housing to senior citizens, disabled persons, and families of low and moderate income. MEND has developed 770 residential units at 30 locations in the Burlington County region. Over the past 50 years, MEND’s affordable housing production efforts have represented a $150 million real estate investment in the region. Visit for more information.