More than $300,000 has been raised to date for an online fund opened in partnership with the United Way of Essex West Hudson to address community needs during Newark’s water problems.
AT&T launched a Text-To-Give campaign to support Newark families in areas with lead service lines. It is open to include wireless customers of Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Both Uber and Lyft are also providing discounted rides for residents to water distribution sites.
University Hospital is offering free lead testing to residents, as is RWJ Barnabas Health at both Newark Beth Israel Hospital and Clara Maass. The corporate community has also committed to providing volunteers to support the City’s efforts to provide comprehensive access to information for all residents.
City officials say corporate support has been received from AT&T, Genova Burns, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Onyx Equities LLC, Panasonic, Paramount, Provident Bank, Prudential Financial, the PSEG Foundation, the TD Charitable Foundation, United Airlines, RWJ Barnabas Health and Wells Fargo.
There has also been support from the nonprofit community, the faith community, and the business community in bottled water donations to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. To date, 25,000 cases of bottled water have been received to support impacted families, including a commitment from Audible that covered the purchase and distribution of 100,000 bottles of water, the support of City Hope Ministries, a Newark-based church that helped to facilitate a delivery of 15 truckloads of water from Convoy of Hope, and numerous small businesses.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen an incredible outpouring of support from our corporate partners, and we are so grateful for everything they are doing to support our community,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “In the coming days, the City will be out in the community with volunteers to provide access to clean, safe water, as well as helping residents sign up for our accelerated Lead Service Line Replacement Program so we can quickly replace every lead service line in the city.”
Last month, the City announced new partnerships with the United Way of Essex and West Hudson and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to create the online water fund to support emerging needs from the water challenge, including the purchase of bottled water, and to coordinate bottled water donations to support Newark families.