NEWARK, NJ – The following press release has been kindly provided by the United Community Corporation. Learn more about posting announcements or events on your local patch site.

The United Community Corporation is hosting a free sales event for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on Saturday, April 24th, 11 am-3pm in West Side Park, Newark

The event was made possible by funding from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a grant from the Office of Crime Victims (OVC) under the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program to raise community awareness of crime promote the rights and services of victims during National Crime Victims Week 2021.

Thanks to the granted funding, UCC will host the extensive Community Awareness Project event, which includes information booths with information on services for crime victims and families in need, giveaways for promotional items, free clothing, distribution of food and household items, and guest speakers.

“Our mission is to improve the betterment of the lives of the people in Newark City and Essex County,” said John Jewell, president of the UCC Board of Directors. “When members of the community know they need something, they know they can contact UCC. We never say no. We never say we can’t. When you need to do something, call UCC because our employees and board are committed to fulfilling our mission. “

UCC is holding a fundraiser in the run-up to the event asking for small household appliances, clothing, bedding, home decor, books, toys, strollers, utensils, car seats, cups, cooking sets, face masks, detergents, and hand sanitizers. Anyone interested can make their donations at West Side Park or send an email to [email protected] to arrange a time for your donation to be picked up.

The event is being run in partnership with Amerigroup, Essex County Attorney’s Office, Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center, Newark Community Solutions, Beauty for Ashes, Outrageous Outreach, Hope Bridges Us and Girls, Live, Laugh and Love.

In addition to the closing sales event for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which runs April 18-24, UCC will include informational brochures about crime victims in its daily grocery distribution bag. UCC’s pantry serves an average of 2,166 people per week.

“I firmly believe that spreading awareness and services to crime victims in Newark is critical to addressing some residents’ fear of being reported the crime they are the victim of because of fear Retaliation by the perpetrator or undocumented, “said UCC VOCA supervisor David Baquerizo. “Awareness is key to helping those who are afraid to report crimes in the community.”

The event is held in honor of the former UCC board secretary Pastor Veronice Horne, who passed away on November 9th, 2020. Horne had a distinguished career in the community service and was also a director of the Goodwill Rescue Mission. In 2011 she founded her passion project The Hands of a Woman Ministry Inc., in which she lend a hand to women who have to do with homelessness, addiction and abuse. With their memories on the forefront, UCC hopes this event can have the same strength and spirit that Horne displayed on a daily basis while serving the people of Newark who were in dire need of help.

“This was more than a mission for Pastor Horne. It was her drive and strength,” said UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor. “She has been one of the most vocal advocates of women as survivors. She has an amazing story and one that anyone going through this should hear, read, or try to relate to. I know she would have been proud of it, and I would I am honored to do so on your behalf. “

First appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week increases general public awareness and knowledge of the wide range of rights and services available to those who have been victims of crime. The theme for National Crime Victims Week in 2021 is “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engaged Community”.

Since 2004, the NCVRW Community Awareness Project has financially and technically supported more than 1000 community projects that promote activities to raise awareness among victims and the general public, as well as innovative approaches to public relations and education of victims about the rights and services of victims during the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The United Community Corporation was one of 106 NAVAA recommended and was selected from the 242 applications submitted nationwide for OVC funding for 2021.

“NAVAA funding through OVC enables us to create internal connections with crime victims and to trace a person’s journey from victim to survivor,” Mainor said. “It is always important to be able to observe someone on their journey and to be able to help them. We thank NAVAA for making this possible for us.”

For more information on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2021 activities or the rights and services of victims in Newark City and Essex Counties, contact Baquerizo at [email protected] at 973-621-8295 or on our website at https://uccnewark.org/voca/. For information on national efforts to promote National Crime Victims Week 2021, please visit the Office of Crime Victims’ website at www.ovc.gov.

The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators is a non-profit that represents the 56 government agencies that distribute money from the Federal Crime Victims Fund to more than 4,000 direct victim support providers. The money in the Crime Victims Fund comes from fines collected by felons convicted of federal crimes, rather than US taxpayers.

United Community Corporation has been the community action agency for the city of Newark and Essex Counties since its inception in 1964. In addition to its West Side Park events, United Community Corporation is providing families in delivery services of up to 14 days worth of food to the city of Newark, which has been quarantined through its pantry at Champion House due to exposure / contraction of COVID-19 . For more information on this program, please contact the Champion House Manager, Maria Torres, at [email protected]

UCC also owns and operates the emergency shelter on Fulton Street, which operated 24/7 during the pandemic. UCC’s energy assistance program has ensured families have heating, air conditioning and electricity, the youth programs have continued both virtually and in person, and the housing assistance programs are prepared to handle the expected influx of evictions and crucial rent / mortgage assistance as soon as possible the moratorium has been lifted.

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