National nonprofit Operation Gratitude and Newark-based Prudential Financial teamed up, with additional support from Mars Wrigley, to deliver “jumbo Care Packages,” containing handwritten letters of appreciation from grateful Americans — including those from more than 100 Prudential employees and their families — as well as coffee, single-serve snacks, and candy, hygiene and comfort items.
From its California warehouse to Newark, the bulk shipments will lift the spirits of more than 13,660 medical workers and 2,000 First Responders on the frontlines of COVID-19. On Monday, May 18th, more than 146,000 individual items were delivered to the Newark Office of Emergency Management Warehouse for distribution to six hospitals including University Hospital, Newark Beth Israel, Clara Maass Medical Center, St. Michael’s, East Orange General, East Orange VA, as well as to the Newark Police and Fire Departments.
“Essential workers are risking their lives daily so it’s great to know how much they’re appreciated,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “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.”
These deliveries in Newark are part of Operation Gratitude’s nationwide efforts in coordination with the six founding members of the Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders. With $1.5M in financial support and $5 M in product donations, local companies, Prudential Financial and Mars Wrigley, as well as CSX, Starbucks, Veterans United and Liquid IV will positively impact more than 300,000 doctors and nurses in hospitals; police officer, firefighters, and EMTs; and National Guardsmen in up to 400 locations across the country. Prudential provided $100,000 to support Operation Gratitude’s efforts to provide much-needed support to frontline workers. The partnership is part of the company’s broader commitment to aid communities across America, but especially their hometown of Newark, New Jersey, during this difficult time.
New Jersey has now surpassed 10,138 COVID-19 related deaths with over 143,906 lab-confirmed cases, Frontline Responders are working long hours to support the Newark community and ensure COVID-19 key indicators continue to drop.
“As a military veteran myself, I often get recognized for my service. Now, as communities around our great nation are being exponentially impacted by COVID-19, I am grateful to be able to pay it forward,” said Jim Beamesderfer, vice president, Veterans Initiatives at Prudential. “Prudential’s partnership with Operation Gratitude underscores our commitment to the frontline workers and first responders risking their lives for ours, as well as our hometown city of Newark – one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.”
“Greater Newark Health Care Coalition is inspired by the unwavering commitment of its member hospitals to improving the health and well-being of residents of Greater Newark, despite the complex challenges COVID-19 presents. We are grateful to Operation Gratitude, Prudential Financial and United Way of Greater Newark for recognizing the efforts of our local hospital workforce and for giving us the opportunity to participate in this amazing initiative.”
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