N.J. Junior Leagues donate 72,000 bottles of water to Newark residents

NEWARK, NJ — Junior Leagues from across New Jersey united as one Junior League to support the many residents of the city of Newark impacted by elevated lead levels in their drinking water. Each of the eight New Jersey Junior Leagues raised funds that went toward the bulk purchase of bottled water. Together at St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church in Newark, 30 pallets of water, amounting to 72,000 individual bottles, were unloaded by Junior League volunteers and distributed on-site to Newark residents from two tractor trailers donated by Finkle IV Freight & Logistics, owned by Alexis Finkle.

“With our offices now located in Newark, our company has committed to taking on an active role in supporting the Newark community,” Finkle said. “When we learned that the Junior Leagues needed help in coordinating the delivery of the purchased bottled water, we quickly stepped in to support this effort by donating two of our trucks and ensuring that the water was transported and available for immediate distribution to Newark residents.”

“Since the city of Newark and the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged earlier this year that residents of Newark are being exposed to a major health crisis because of elevated lead levels in drinking water, we have been working tirelessly to provide impacted residents with access to clean, bottled water,” said Anthony Diaz, co-founder of the Newark Water Coalition. “We are grateful for New Jersey Junior Leagues and the impact they were able to make with their water donation; seeing the lines of Newark residents waiting for cases of water as they were being unloaded from the trucks motivates us to continue supporting residents and raising awareness that the crisis continues.” 

“One of our greatest assets as leagues is our ability to organize and build partnerships for greater community impact,” said Larisa Holderied, president-elect of the Junior League of the Oranges & Short Hills. “We thank the Junior League of Montclair-Newark for calling upon all leagues to support Newark residents with elevated lead levels in their drinking water. It is our collective responsibility to come together when our communities are in crisis.” 

“Supporting children and families in Newark is a key aspect of our mission,” said Stephanie Hutton, president of the Junior League of Montclair-Newark. “Much of our service and community impact work aims to lift up Newark residents and provide them with support that is needed to make their lives a little easier. Once we understood how many Newark residents were without clean drinking water, we called upon all New Jersey leagues to unite as one league to support Newark. Empowering all of our New Jersey league members to partner together allowed us to deliver for Newark residents.”