UNITED WE FIGHT.
UNITED WE WIN.
United Way of Greater Newark’s Community COVID-19 Fund raised more than $6.5 million to support the local community. Our Community COVID-19 fund included small business grants, emergency food aid, and the parent exchange program.
United Way of Greater Newark received over 900 applications, awarded 134 small businesses grants, and awarded more than $1 million to businesses in need in Newark.
UWGN partnered with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the Salvation Army and MEND to facilitate food distribution efforts in Newark and various parts of New Jersey. We distributed over 200,000 pounds of food with the support of 16 partner organizations.
UWGN filed taxes for almost 8,000 low-to-moderate income residents across the NABC network, which returned over $12M to the community.
The FAFSA challenge had 150 volunteers in 2020.
Read more about our collaboration:
NEWARK THRIVES! IGNITE SESSION
The first international out-of-school time (OST) professional development session on OST Covid-19 Best Practices. This session served over 100 international OST program providers.
PROGRAM PROVIDERS ATTENDED
The first virtual Lights On! After school Recruitment Fair for Newark youth and families featured a service announcement from Superintendent Roger Leon endorsing Newark Thrives! work towards increasing access to quality OST opportunities and a Q&A on OST with Mayor Ras Baraka.
YOUTH & FAMILES ATTENDED NEWARK
Newark Thrive! facilitated an engaging OST informational session for 800+ youth in The City of Newark’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
PARTICIPANTS IN OST INFORMATIONAL
"The City of Newark has a rich and vibrant history and PSE&G is proud to partner with United Way of Greater Newark (UWGN) to ensure that all communities within and around Newark, have access to energy efficient programs and services that can help them reduce their energy consumption and save money. Organizations like the United Way are key to helping Newark build a brighter future for its residents, including the most vulnerable, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with this esteemed organization to help support the community."
"The food helped me and my family very much. I was excited to hear that my application was accepted and that the food was going to be brought to my house. My husband recently had a stroke, so I have not left his side since then. Being that I take care of his every need it has been hard for me to go out and buy groceries. I didn’t want to leave him alone, and I didn’t want to put myself at risk of being exposed to the virus. My husband's medical conditions also have brought hardship financially to the family, so this food distribution helped us immensely. Thank you all so much for the work that you do and god bless you all."
"The [Small Business] grant [I received] was more than a boost, it was a lifeline or – better yet – a rebirth of what appeared to gone. Tonnie’s Minis did everything it could to remain normal over the last few months from donations to deliveries, but everyday holding on with a consistent smile. Well, the award letter brought more than a smile, it brought tears of joy that lead to what has felt like a new beginning."
“Newark Community Street Team is so honored to partner with United Way of Greater Newark to advance our shared vision of wellness and health in the community. Thanks to the United Way of Greater Newark, we have been able to create and maintain many different types of wellness and community building activities for our team. This is essential because the work our staffers perform involves regular exposure to traumatizing circumstances, and many members of our team are survivors of violence and/or trauma. We have been able to offer team activities including mini golf and basketball, as well as massage, yoga, journaling, art and dance classes. We believe that mental and physical wellness are essential components of healthy communities and appreciate the United Way's support as we continue our work."
"The United Way of Greater Newark has been a great partner in helping organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Newark (BGCN) in supporting their mission and vision. The United Way of Greater Newark has been strategic in their approach to supporting visionary initiatives and necessary programs to advance the needs of community. Through the mental health first aid grant, BGCN was able to launch their mental health clinic to provide mental health services to children and adults in the Greater Newark community. Thank you United Way of Greater Newark for all you do to ensure we continue to serve the community."
Dr. Denise Rodgers
"United Way of Greater Newark has been a major funder and supporter of the Believe in a Healthy Newark initiative since 2019. Through this partnership, UWGN has been a leader in helping to address the lead in the water crisis in Newark as well as working to improve access to food and the quality of food served in the schools. In 2020, when the COVID pandemic began, Catherine Wilson, President, and CEO of UWGN, played a vital role in mobilizing a wide-ranging group of community partners to first provide education about the disease and then to provide education about the importance of getting vaccinated. Her acquisition of critically important funds from the Rockefeller Foundation allowed Newark to initiate one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the state. Time and time again, United Way provides needed resources, information, and leadership in addressing significant issues facing the residents of the Greater Newark community. UWGN is a highly valued and trusted partner in the community."
"Newark Emergency Services for Families has benefitted greatly from our partnership with United Way of Greater Newark. Collaborating with a proactive visionary thought leader like United Way has helped NESF, and nonprofit organizations like ours, to leverage resources, expand our service delivery, and address systematic issues of disenfranchisement and marginalization that plague our community. United Way provides a wonderful example of how to establish and manage public and private partnerships in a way that is inclusive and intentional for the benefit of all people."
Black Men Read
“On October 20th, our scholars at Camden Street School had the honor of participating in the Black Men Read program with MVOL. The event was impactful for the students, teachers and administrators. We were reminded of how integral reading is individually, and to our students collectively. Reading is fundamental for the intellectual, psychological and personal growth of our students. The adorned leaders who came to our school personified communal cohesion and activism. They reaffirmed that as leaders of our communities, men are committed to the advancement and well-being of our students' futures. The men selected are paragons for our children to follow. It was also an extreme honor to have dads of our scholars take time out of their busy days and join us in reading during this memorable event. It was a fun day of reading, learning and connection. Camden Street School will continue to encourage our children to read and are grateful to have the support of our families, administration and community leaders. We will forever be reminded of the commitment to being “Tied” to the learning at Camden Street School.”
“Reading to the kids during the Celebrity Read events are a tremendous amount of fun for me. Interacting with the kids and watching them react to my silly presentation of “Casey at the Bat” makes me chuckle even long after my read. My goal is to acquaint the kids with poetry, baseball, a lifelong love of reading and share a little about myself. Can’t wait to do it again. Batter up!”
"I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the Celebrity Read Program organized by United Way of Greater Newark. We interacted with the children attending the Salome Urena Elementary School in Newark. During my interaction, I was able to learn more about the school, teachers and most importantly the children. The most rewarding experience came when I read a book to the class and saw how engaged and excited the children were. It was extra special to see some of them whom identified with the book on a personal level. Some even shared their own personal experiences with me. I was blown away by how reading a book and volunteering just an hour of my day could impact someone’s life. Simply reading, listening or learning about the school and teachers and their current challenges.
I strongly believe that volunteering within our communities could help to light the lives of the ones in need. At the same time, we become familiar with our community and connect with people to positively impact their lives.
Giving back is a responsibility we should all take seriously as community members, specifically to help those that are more vulnerable.
Lastly, and most important, this should not be the responsibility of a single volunteer. We are stronger as a whole when the entire community comes together to support the ones in need."
Colonel Yvonne L. Mays
Women's Leadership Breakfast
"I’m honored to have had the opportunity to sit as a panelist for the Fireside Chat of this year's Women's Leadership Breakfast. The thought-provoking questions from the attendees coupled with the genuine candor of each Panelist fostered a climate for an intimate uplifting conversation among friends. I received more than I gave and sincerely feel that I am better for having been a part of such a powerful event."
Women's Leadership Breakfast
"At the Women's Leadership Breakfast moderated by Andrea Lewis-Walker, along with fellow panelists Sarah Keh, Colonel Yvonne Maya, and Jennifer Velez, brought depth needed to frankly talk about the successes and struggles of women in leadership. The panelists were vulnerable - sharing how their grit allowed them to persevere to become the person they are today. It was amazing to share this event with fellow female colleagues at Per Scholas Newark in solidarity."
Women's Leadership Breakfast
"The Women’s Leadership Breakfast was a great experience of community and motivation. I enjoyed hearing from the speakers and appreciated their candidness. I loved hearing about their journeys to leadership and left with great lessons to consider for the future."
Small Business Grantee
“We were on the verge of closing. United Way’s grant changed our bar forever. I don’t think we would’ve made it without that funding.”
Young Professionals Network
"United Way of Greater Newark’s Young Professional Network events are a great way to meet new people and expand your professional resources. Not only can you make valuable connections, but you can also learn from others in your industry and gain new insights. Attending these events can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your field. Overall, these events are a great investment in your career!"
“[This experience was] made up of a lot of little moments where you are reaching out to the community and letting them know that they do have help. There are people out there to support you. Even just speaking through [clients’] circumstances, getting to know them and getting some background. I was able to give helpful hints for next year, including improved record keeping and other ways to help so [free tax prep is] easier in the future. It’s amazing that you can make a difference in their life so much through this program.”
“My situation has gone from stressful to hope-filled, I feel I can achieve any goal I set. I am so thankful I came to that first financial workshop and now have a financial coach. I changed my path in the direction I want, success!”
“I never knew how to handle my finances; my fiancé was responsible for that. The things I learned (from financial workshops), managing my money, not waiting till the last minute to pay bills and other financial skills give me the hope I needed to keep going and get better and better.”
“If other students and people in the community with tax knowledge understood the real impact on families and in our communities, there would be a lot more volunteers/tax preparers. I have had my views change by understanding more about my clients, and individuals that use community services. It’s refreshing to see smiles. I see more angry and cranky people at Target than I do at the VITA sites.”
Courtney Delicia Stokes
“You learn so much about people and the community you are in. I am new and I get a whole new perspective on how my neighbors live and the concerns they have. At the end of it- they are excited to get their refund. Almost everyone talks about how expensive it is at other places- so it’s really rewarding. One client asked me if I like to read…I love reading! She said her daughter was an author and gave me her information and a card on her book. I posted it to my book group and some of my friends had already read it!”
Newark Equitable Vaccine Initiative partner
“We did a lot to better understand the community in ways we hadn’t before, what their thoughts were about the vaccine, as well as making sure people were vaccinated. The phone, banking, the canvassing, the television commercials. We continue to ask folks what they think and what they want, in a research-based way. We did 2,000 post surveys during the last year to see what the community members were thinking, and what they wanted. Now we are thinking about how we circle back with those community members that gave their input, and how do we continue that conversation as well.”