Newark, NJ – November 16, 2021 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the United Community Corporation (UCC) announced today that they will team up to host a “Shop With a Hero” event on Saturday, December 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in downtown Newark. 100 local children, joined by their parents, will each pair up with a “local hero,” who will accompany them on a $100 holiday shopping spree at stores along Broad and Market Streets in downtown Newark, to support local businesses.
The program will kick off with a ceremony at Newark City Hall, located at 920 Broad Street, at 10 a.m. Heroes will include police officers, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, elected officials, educators, Special Victims Unit officers, and other first responders that have distinguished themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is being spearheaded by Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement Jacqueline Quiles.
“These have been challenging times for many Newark residents,” said Mayor Baraka. “Our ‘Shop With a Hero’ event is an opportunity to bring holiday cheer and lift the spirits of Newark families, while recognizing the hard work of our COVID-19 responders. I thank United Community Corporation for partnering with us and am looking forward to bringing joy this season.”
The initiative is an attempt to build a lasting bond and mentorship between youth in the City of Newark and a local hero. This event aims to humanize the people behind the badge and the mask so children can build relationships with police and other first responders. In addition to bringing children joy during the holiday season, the event will also help up to 100 families that are at-risk. This event will ease the worry that parents and guardians have about providing gifts for their children and allow them to use their money towards basic needs.
“It is an honor for United Community Corporation to be able to host the "Shop with a Hero" event alongside the City of Newark's leadership team to not only provide children with the opportunity to pick out their own Christmas gifts, but also honor the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, who put themselves at risk to keep us safe,” said UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor. “I hope that this event can inspire some of these children to become the first responders and other heroes of the future.”
Want to get involved and support the event? Please contact Richard Greco from United Community Corporation at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 908-358-8815. For more information about the event, please contact Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles at 973-733-5482.
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