Ted Calabrese had only been on the job as the director of marketing and business development at Newark-based Genova Burns for a few months when the program was presented to him.
He was instantly hooked.
Cedar Knolls-based Marketsmith Inc. was looking for corporate partners to join its efforts in the eighth annual Bring Dinner Home event — a program that provides food, clothing, books, diapers and everything else the students at Camden Street School in Newark and their guardians need.
The event, which aims to provide 1,000 meals and 1,000 coats, takes place this Wednesday.
“I thought it was an incredible opportunity and the perfect example of how the corporate community can really have impact in the communities in which they work,” Calabrese said.
“What really resonated with me is that it’s for kids and their mothers. Kids don’t go to school because they don’t have coats and moms can’t take them to school because they don’t have coats.
“It’s just mind-boggling that this exists today. It’s just a wonderful thing to support.”
Calabrese brought the program to managing partner Angelo Genova, who quickly agreed the firm should do all that it could to help.
“Genova Burns is privileged to support such a worthy cause in our community,” he said. “The Camden Street School and Marketsmith’s Bring Dinner Home event touches on the most basic needs of those less fortunate in our area, children, and also their mothers, who we must ensure are in a position to take care of their kids, the youngest generation of our Newark families and the future of our city.”
With that, Calabrese sent out a note to all Genova Burns employees, looking for coats, volunteers to work at the event and cash donations to aid the families involved.
Calabrese said Genova Burns is eager to make this a regular event for the firm.
“I will be there, as will several members of my team,” he said. “What the school is doing — what the school is accomplishing — is incredible. We’re happy to help in any way we can.”
Sam Garrison, principal of Camden Street School in Newark, appreciates the impact the Bring Dinner Home program has had on his school and the community it serves.
“It really is an incredible night of giving,” he said.
Garrison deserves accolades himself. He has helped lead an amazing turnaround at the school since taking over six years ago.
“No other school in the state, testing grades 3-8, has seen the increases we’ve had in literacy,” he said.
It’s a reason why the school earned a prestigious Spotlight award from the state Department of Education this year as a “School to Watch.”
Genova Burns is one of dozens of organizations that have gotten involved. Here is a list of those helping:
- Brighton Cromwell
- Chester School District
- Coldwell Banker
- The Complete Package
- Connect One
- County College of Morris
- Cross Device Media
- DeFabio Sports Medicine
- Delta Dental
- Drew University
- Genova Burns
- Kluger Healey
- McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli P.C.
- Mercury Media
- Moms Helping Moms
- Newmark Real Estate
- Northern Elite
- Opportunity Media
- Randstad USA
- RWJBarnabas Health
- Shark Ninja
- Smith & Co.
- ShopRite of Newark
- Sobel & Co.
- Thomas Boyd Communication
- Vibe Yoga Lounge
- WB Mason
- Woodfern Elementary