NEWARK, May 22, 2020 – National nonprofit Operation Gratitude and 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, and hygiene and comfort items.
Having traveled from Operation Gratitude’s California warehouse to Newark, New Jersey, the bulk shipments will lift the spirits of more than 13,660 medical workers and 2,000 first responders on the front lines of COVID-19. On Monday, May 18, more than 146,000 individual items were delivered to the Newark Office of Emergency Management warehouse for distribution to six hospitals—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 show 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. Through $1.5 million in financial support and $5 million in product donations, local companies Prudential 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 officers, 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 front-line workers. The partnership is part of the Prudential’s broader commitment to aid communities across America, but especially its hometown of Newark during this difficult time.
New Jersey has now surpassed 10,138 COVID-19-related deaths with over 143,906 lab confirmed cases. Front-line 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 cities in New Jersey 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 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,” said Keri Logosso-Misurell, executive director, Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition.
Over the past five weeks, Operation Gratitude has delivered “Jumbo Care Packages” containing more than 2 million items and handwritten letters of appreciation, to over 100,000 front-line responders in hospitals in New York City, Seattle and New Orleans, as well as metropolitan police and fire departments and National Guard units in areas particularly impacted by the pandemic. Operation Gratitude has been sending Care Packages for 17 years to those who serve and exponentially scaled operations in response to COVID-19.
Pictures courtesy of Prudential and Operation Gratitude
Quotes from recipients available here.
Additional pictures of Operation Gratitude COVID-19 Deliveries available here.