Prudential Financial, in partnership with Operation Gratitude and supported by Mars Wrigley, delivered thousands of “care packages” to health care workers and first responders in Newark.
The packages, containing coffee, snacks and candy along with hygiene and comfort items, were sent on May 18 to Newark’s Office of Emergency Management for distribution to 13,660 staff members at six hospitals and 2,000 police officers and firefighters. The hospitals receiving the gifts were University Hospital, Newark Beth Israel, Clara Maass Medical Center, St. Michael’s Medical Center, East Orange General and East Orange VA. The bundles also contained handwritten letters of appreciation of Americans, including from more than 100 Prudential employees, according to Operation Gratitude.
“Essential workers are risking their lives daily so it’s great to know how much they’re appreciated,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “Prudential, Mars Wrigley, and Operation Gratitude’s efforts and commitment to helping Newark and communities across our nation during this pandemic shows the power of collaboration and compassion.”
The Newark deliveries were part of a nationwide effort carried out by Operation Gratitude and six companies – Prudential, Mars, CSX, Starbucks, Liquid IV and Veterans United Home Loans – to provide help to 300,000 medical professionals and first responders. The charity and companies launched the Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders on April 8 with $1.5 million in financial support and product donations valued at $5 million.
“We are all so grateful to Operation Gratitude for their support of our healthcare heroes” said Mary Ellen Clyne, president and chief executive officer of Clara Maass Medical Center, in a statement. “At Clara Maass, we consider all of our employees and physicians heroes because they have given their all to care for our patients and each other. The special treats that have been donated to us from Operation Gratitude will absolutely provide comfort and a well-deserved bright moment for all.”
Elsewhere, The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation said May 20 that it made 54 donations totaling about $240,000 to Bergen County organizations from its COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.
The foundation also said it is expanding the fund in Bergen County and into Essex County with a $100,000 contribution from Arnold Ventures.
“The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation is grateful for the support of a network of funders who recognized we are ideally positioned to distribute grants to help nonprofits serving our neighbors experiencing hardships during this pandemic,” said foundation President Michael Shannon. “Their support enables us to carry out the Foundation’s mission and foster collaboration among local agencies and our partners to build stronger communities in the region.”
Based in Hackensack, the NNJCF focuses on civic engagement, education, environmental issues, public health and the arts. For a full list of the latest award recipients, click here.
The New Jersey Bankers Charitable Foundation in Cranford donated $5,000 to the Soup Kitchen 411 FeedNJ campaign to support their efforts in helping connect local restaurants with soup kitchens to feed families affected by the COVID-19 Crisis. FeedNJ is co-chaired by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, and Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
Finally, the Diabetes Foundation said it had received a grant from diabetes-focused life sciences company Novo Nordisk Inc. to support its Diabetes Backup Emergency Supply Kits and other resources during the pandemic. The amount of the grant was not disclosed.
“We want to do what we can to help keep our local neighbors safe and healthy during this outbreak,” said Doug Langa, executive vice president of North America operations and president of Novo Nordisk. “It’s a responsibility we take to heart, and a responsibility that no one organization can carry alone. We are inspired by the Diabetes Foundation’s work and the many organizations that are stepping up and doing heroic work to help provide needed resources to people with diabetes and other challenges during this public health crisis.”