United Community Corporation and EECO Americorps at Montclair State came together to provide coats to families and individuals in need.
Katharine Culp, who serves as Volunteer Coordinator for Montclair State University's Americorps program, hosted a coat drive and donated 75 coats to United Community Corporation.
The coats will be given out at UCC’s newest location at 106 Ann Street in Newark’s East Ward. The location will feature a free food pantry and free clothing boutique.
Anyone in need of a coat prior to the Ann Street location’s grand opening in early April can contact email@example.com to schedule a pickup time.
“Sometimes parents will sacrifice their need for a coat in order for their kids to have a coat,” Culp said. “I’ve worked in schools and I’ve seen kids outside in the middle of winter. It is definitely something that is more needed now - especially given this past winter and the pandemic. It’s harder to get the supplies that people need.”
United Community Corporation accepted the donations with open arms and is excited to begin providing them to the community.
Linking up with organizations like Montclair State’s EECO Americorps is a crucial reason why UCC has been successful in various areas of services - including addressing food and clothing insecurity.
“This is beautiful,” UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor said. “This is an illustration of how our agency has been able to reach past the boundaries of the City of Newark all the way to Montclair State. The fact that they’ve given us these coats that are going to be of value to someone means a lot. I love the fact that students give back.”
Numerous organizations and individuals have made donations for the clothing boutique. UCC boutique manager Tammy Copeland was more than thrilled by the outpouring of support from the community and beyond.
“I put a post up that said UCC was getting ready to open up a new location and we needed donations,” Copeland said. “They started coming in from everywhere. I’m really excited to open and start helping people. I’m so excited for what is going to happen here.”
The food pantry and clothing boutique will not be the only services operating out of the new Ann Street location.
UCC already has functioning offices for its Energy Assistance Department, which operates to helps clients receive monetary assistance for electric bills via Universal Service Fund Program (USF), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), The Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric Program (PAGE) and the Solar Landscape Program. Interested potential clients can call 973-642-0181 for more information.