United Community Corp. hosts free distribution event for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

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NEWARK, NJ — United Community Corporation will hold a free distribution event for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on Saturday, April 24, at West Side Park in Newark from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event was made possible through funding from the National Association of Victims of Crime Act Assistance Administrators through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to promote community awareness of crime victims’ rights and services during the 2021 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. 

Thanks to the awarded funding, UCC will host this community awareness event, featuring informational booths with information on services specific to victims of crime and families in need, promotional item giveaways, free clothing, food and household item distributions, and guest speakers.

“Our mission is to improve the betterment of people’s lives in the city of Newark and Essex County,” UCC board of directors President John Jewell said. “When members of the community know that they need something, they know that they can turn to UCC. We never say no. We never say that we can’t. When you need to get something done, you call UCC because our staff and board are dedicated to do our mission.”

UCC is hosting a donation drive leading up to the event and is asking for small household appliances, clothing, bedding, home decor, books, toys, strollers, utensils, car seats, mugs, cooking sets, face masks, cleaning products and hand sanitizer. Anyone interested can drop off their donations at West Side Park or email donations@uccnewark.org to schedule a time for the donation to be collected.

The event is being run in partnership with Amerigroup, Essex County Prosecutor’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 distribution event capping off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which runs from April 18 to 24, UCC will be including Victims of Crime informational pamphlets in its daily food distribution bags. UCC’s food pantry serves an average of 2,166 individuals weekly. 

“I strongly believe that spreading awareness and services for victims of crime in Newark is vital to combat the fear that some residents have about reporting crimes that they were victims of because they are afraid of retaliation by the perpetrator or are undocumented,” UCC’s Victims of Crime Act supervisor David Baquerizo said. “Awareness is key to helping those who are afraid to report crimes in the community.”

The event is being run in honor of former UCC board secretary Pastor Veronice Horne, who died Nov. 9, 2020. Horne had an esteemed career in charitable service and was also a board member for Goodwill Rescue Mission. In 2011, she founded her passion project, The Hands of a Woman Ministry Inc., where she offered a hand up to women dealing with homelessness, addiction and abuse. With her memory at the forefront, UCC hopes this event can carry the same vigor and spirit that Horne displayed daily while serving populations of Newark in dire need of help.

“This was more than a mission for Pastor Horne. This was her drive and her force,” UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor said. “She was one of the most vocal advocates for women as survivors. She has an amazing story and one that everyone going through this should listen, read or try to relate to. I know that she would have been proud of this and I’m honored to do this in her name.”

Learn more about Horne by visiting https://uccnewark.org/pastor-horne/

Photos Courtesy of Richard Greco