United Community Corporation will celebrate the community on Friday as the non-profit agency hosts its annual BBQ for a Cause.
The carnival and community cookout, which Amerigroup sponsors, will take place on Friday, August 5, at the West Side Park football field from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
"We had so much fun at last year's BBQ for a Cause and wanted to make this year's bigger and better," Director of Community Engagement Richard Greco said.
"This is one of my favorite events because it's all about having fun. It is so special to have all of UCC's employees coming together to celebrate our community."
The event has everything that children, teens, and those young-at-heart love, including a bouncy house, a blow-up slide, an obstacle course, a gaming truck, a petting zoo, and much more.
Free food will also be given out at the event, with UCC staff barbecuing and providing meals from the UCC Cafe Mobile Feeding Program food truck.
"As we wind down the summer, it's great to engage the entire family in fun activities that promote togetherness," Assistant Director of Community Engagement Alena Minatee said. "We look forward to activities that can be shared across generations."
In addition to celebrating the community as a whole, the BBQ for a Cause highlights the conclusion of United Community Corporation's 21st Century Summer Camp.
"It is tremendously exciting to conclude our 21st Century Summer Camp with a carnival because it shows our campers how much we appreciate them," 21st Century Program Director Christian Marsette said.
"The best part will be seeing all the smiles on all their faces because that's why we come to work every day."
While its 21st Century Camp concludes on Friday, UCC operates the Back Together Again Summer Enrichment Twilight Program in partnership with The City of Newark, which runs Monday - Friday from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. at five Newark elementary schools.
The program is completely free to Newark residents, who can sign up here: https://forms.gle/KXybG6ZZztqQN7PK8.
The BBQ for a Cause may have plenty to keep youth busy, but it will also provide key resources to families.
UCC's Housing and Energy Assistance departments will be on-hand to help clients with past due rental, mortgage, and utility bills and help those that may have recently become homeless take steps to find a new home.
UCC's Champion House food pantry will provide groceries, ensuring that no family leaves empty-handed.
United Community Corporation partnered with Saint James Health to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and tests at the event.
"We want to provide the most engaging and joyful environment possible but also want to provide families with the resources to move from dependency to self-sufficiency," Greco said.
"Having Saint James Health and UCC's programs on-site allows us to provide the community with wraparound services."
Anyone interested in participating or supporting the BBQ for a Cause can contact Alena Minatee at Alena.firstname.lastname@example.org.