Want to have impact in Newark? Upcoming ‘Shop with a Hero’ program still accepting corporate partners

United Community Corp., in partnership with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, is hosting the 3rd annual “Shop With a Hero” event at the Prudential Center on Dec. 17 — and it is still looking for more corporate partners.

During this heartwarming event, local heroes, including first responders and community leaders, will walk hand-in-hand with 250 local schoolchildren for a day of holiday shopping and festive activities.  The youth and heroes will meet at the Prudential Center, go out on their $100 spree, return to the center with their purchases, and enjoy music by DJ Alvarez, additional treats and festivities.

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Organizers said Shop With a Hero not only fosters positive relationships between local heroes and the youth, but also brings the spirit of giving to Newark during the holiday season. Through this event, UCC and the city of Newark aim to create lasting memories for both the heroes and the children involved, while building a relationship with first responders.

UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor said the significance of the event cannot be overstated.

“Shop With a Hero is more than just a shopping spree; it’s about building connections and spreading joy,” he said. “Especially during the holiday season, this event puts our commitment to strengthening the bonds within our community into focus. Together, we can make a meaningful impact in the lives of these children, nurturing a sense of unity and compassion.”

This year’s Shop With a Hero was made possible by UCC’s partner Amerigroup, Devils Youth Foundation, TEA Corp., Peapack-Gladstone Bank and a host of supporters.

UCC is still looking for additional sponsors and heroes for “Shop With a Hero.” To get involved, contact UCC Director of Community Engagement Alena Minatee at alena.minatee@uccnewark.org or via phone at 973-642-0181, ext. 5445.

Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé said the impact is great.

“The Newark Department of Public Safety is delighted to participate once again in ‘Shop with a Hero’ in partnership with United Community Corp.,” he said. “It’s an honor for individual members of the Newark Police and Fire divisions and the staff of the Office of Emergency Management to join in such a generous event that adds tremendous joy to Newark children during the holiday season.”