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"The monetary value of what we're doing isn't as important as it is for my son to get outside here. Nothing is going back to being the same, and we need to get into what our new normal will be. But at the same time, we need the camaraderie. Something like this helps to be part of our next steps. We have to press the rewind button and get back to what truly made us happy from before." - Parent January Grisham
Quote Courtesy of TapInToNewark
On Saturday, Dec. 18 United Community Corporation paired up with The City of Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles to provide 109 children with $100 shopping sprees in downtown Newark. The children and their parent/guardian were accompanied by local heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic - police officers, firefighters, doctors, teachers, elected officials and more.
The City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety provided traffic control and was very present throughout the shopping route, which featured stores like Source of Knowledge Book Store, Urban Source, GameStop, Regine’s, Nike Store, McDonald’s, and Newark’s Winter Village. Before leaving, each child received a gift bag of donated goodies and their parent/guardian received a bag of groceries courtesy of UCC’s Champion House food pantry and The Community FoodBank of New Jersey. NJCRI was on-site providing testing and COVID-19 vaccines.
The event couldn’t have been such a success without the generosity of its sponsors:
- Senator Cory Booker
- Vision Healers
- North Star Elite Realty
- Investors Bank
- Peapack-Gladstone Bank
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center | RWJBarnabas Health
- United Way of Greater Newark
- Clinton Hill Community Action
- Partners in Health
- New Jersey Children’s Foundation
- Turner Construction
- The Vulcan Pioneers
- Melissa Prashad
- Everett Johnson Esq.
- Mark Perry CPA
- Dr. Julianne Walker
- Dr. E. Asyah Aquil
- Dr. Torian Easterling
The event also received a sizable donation in honor of Craig Graves.
Partnerships with the City of Newark, the Newark Board of Education, the Newark Police Department, the Newark Fire Department, and the Newark Department of Public Safety made this event possible.
"We're trying to make sure that the community stops and says thank you to the heroes in our community, and at the same time have our essential workers here helping the community again. We lost a year to the pandemic in 2020, and now even with all of these variants, it's still important to stop and claim this holiday for the kids." - UCC Executive Director, Craig Mainor
Quote Courtesy of TapInToNewark
Media Coverage of the Event:
- Shop with a Hero in The Star-Ledger
- In Newark, kids shop with a ‘hero’ and 100 bucks
- Shop With A Hero' Pairs First Responders With Families In Need This Weekend In Newark ‘Shop With a Hero’ this holiday season in Newark
- 100 Newark Children Will “Shop With A Hero” at Businesses in Downtown Newark
- Mayor Baraka and United Community Corporation to host “Shop with a Hero” holiday event for 100 Newark children on Saturday, December 18, at City Hall
- Newark Kids Get to 'Shop With a Hero' for Christmas Gifts