Vero Amici Donates $5,000, Followed by 50 Turkeys, to the Local Assistance Board and it's Caldwell Food Pantry
CALDWELL / WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Vero Amici for Charity announced that, on Monday, their philanthropic group purchased 50 turkeys for the Caldwell-West Caldwell Local Assistance Board. The Board's Caldwell Food Pantry was in dire need as it is in the process of providing Thanksgiving meals for many area families.
Vero Amici's Thanksgiving gift comes on top of the $5000 check which the men's group had already given to the board on Thursday, Nov. 13.
Currently, about 84 families make use of local assistance on a monthly basis. For Thanksgiving, the food pantry is expecting to make up over 120 baskets for those who are not able to provide the traditional holiday dinner for their families.
In the past seven years, Vero Amici has donated over 400 turkeys to Caldwell's food pantry and has donated $35,000 to help keep the food bank stocked throughout the year.
At the Nov. 13 gathering, Vero Amici's President Joseph Garamella presented the Board Director Maria Burak with the substantial donation. Also present for the occasion was West Caldwell's Board Chair Rose Marie Jackie DeBonis. Garamella recounted to the audience how, seven years ago, Burak had contacted Vero Amici requesting 50 turkeys just a few days before Thanksgiving. The men went to Shop Rite and delivered Burak 50 turkeys that day, and thus the tradition began.
"You do not realize how many people cannot afford a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving right here in the West Essex community," Garamella commented. "We're not talking inner cities, we're talking right here in our own backyards. When we got her the turkeys, it was then that she told us
The assistance board is involved with many aspects of the community's welfare. As she accepted the donation, Burak described how the board had just helped a single mom with three kids stay in their home. Community groups, area schools, local scouts and religious organizations all help to provide food donations for the pantry.
Yesterday, despite the many turkey donations the food pantry had already received, Burak again notified Vero Amici that many more were needed.
"Yesterday, Maria Burak called to say that the pantry
Burak explained the Local Assistance Board donations are used to provide emergency assistance to people.
"If someone's lights get turned off, for instance,
Garamella expressed that part of Vero Amici's mission as a charity is to help promote local awareness of those in the community who are in need.
"We are here to make the community aware that
Donations to the Local Assistance Board and Caldwell Food Pantry may be mailed or delivered to the following address:
Local Assistance Board
14 Park Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006
Vero Amici for Charity was established in December, 2005, by local men from the West Essex community. The mission of Vero Amici, which translates to "True Friends," is to raise money through charitable contributions that are dedicated for children, citizens with disabilities, senior citizens and under-privileged youths who need medical or financial assistance and to promote local awareness in our communities. The values of Vero Amici come from the individuals that make up their association. These individuals are compassionate, committed and most importantly, caring.
Food Pantry Donations Welcome at 4th Annual Notre Dame Youth Ministry Sleepout for the Homeless, 8pm to 8am, Saturday, Nov. 22; 359 Central Avenue, North Caldwell
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - For the fourth year, the Youth Ministry of Notre Dame Church will be spending a cold night sleeping outside on the front lawn of the church in the hope of bringing awareness to homelessness and hunger. The event will take place this weekend at 359 Central Avenue, North Caldwell, and area residents are encouraged to stop by with donations for the Caldwell Food Pantry.
The teens will be outside from 8pm, Saturday evening until 8am, Sunday morning, Nov 22 and 23.
Food Pantry Donations Needed
Nearby the front yard camp-out are shopping carts waiting for the donations. The teens will come pick up any items from a car and bring them over to the carts. The following non-perishable food items, hygiene necessities and household supplies are currently in demand at the Caldwell Food Pantry:
The Notre Dame Parish Communications Director Terrie Michaels explained the the group spends the entire evening outside in sleeping bags, sheltered by large cardboard boxes. During the month after Hurricaine Sandy, the teens instead took the time period to stay up all evening baking and then delivered the items the next morning to churches down the shore.
"It's really a great experience and the
Pastor: Rev. Anthony Randazzo
359 Central Ave.
North Caldwell NJ 07006
Notre Dame Parish is a community of more than 1900 families in Western Essex County. They are a Christian Community of the Roman Catholic tradition, serving the town of North Caldwell and the wider West Essex Community.
"Dancin' Donna" Moves On From Caldwell, Looks Fondly on her Time Spent Waving from the Bloomfield Avenue Wall
CALDWELL, NJ - Donna Lee, also known as "Dancin' Donna" and "Rockin' Rhonda" has moved on from Caldwell and has left her Bloomfield Avenue wall behind. Lee moved earlier this fall after living her entire life, 42 years, in Caldwell. She could be found on most nice afternoons sitting on the wall at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Westover and on other occasions, like the July 4th Fireworks, or Caldwell Street Fair, she was sure to be seen walking around smiling or warmly greeting people.
"I just wanted to let all my 'Rockin' Rhonda' and 'Dancin' Donna' fans know that I have a bit of sad news; I have relocated," Lee commented.
Lee is the essence of all that is Caldwell. She grew up going to St. Aloysius Grammar School and then moved on to James Caldwell High School.
"I have lived in Caldwell for 42 years," Dancin' Donna explained.
Lee says she can't recall exactly when she started sitting on the wall and listening to music. She thinks it may have been six or even ten years ago. As time went by, people have grown accustomed to seeing her sit on the wall at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Westover, nodding her head and smiling and waving to people as she listened to the music from her headphones.
"Riding down Bloomfield Avenue won't be the same,"
Lee commented that her wall experience helped her recover from earlier days when she had been bullied.
"The wall was my happy place.
During Sandy, when much of West Essex was without power, without car fuel - Lee made it her mission to get back on that wall and wave to people. A local resident, Veronica Steele, took note of her service and uploaded it to YouTube.
First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, 9am to 2pm, Saturday, Nov. 22; 326 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell
by Lauren Restaino
CALDWELL, NJ - It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning colors, the night air is getting cooler and families are making their holiday plans. Unfortunately, too many families cannot plan their holiday. They are too busy wondering how they are going to put food on the table for the rest of the week but we can help.
The Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive takes place on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9am to 2pm in the circular driveway at the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell. The church is located at 326 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell.
Food Donations Needed
Please help by donating a turkey. Other nonperishable foods donations needed are:
Many of our local grocery stores are giving turkeys to those who spend a certain amount. Families can donate their free turkey or purchase an extra one to donate. Last year, the Caldwell community helped over 250 families celebrate the holidays. We hope to help at least that many families once again. The NJ FoodBank uses all donations to assist NJ families who would otherwise have no means to provide a holiday meal. When sitting down to dinner tonight, please think about those families and help out on Nov. 22.
First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell
Senior Pastor: Dr. Richard N. Sommers
326 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Police announced this week that, for the eleventh year in a row, the department is participating in the annual Jersey Cares Coat Drive. The program is organized by West Caldwell Detective Paul Mazzeo who works with the students in the James Caldwell High School Key Club to collect gently used coats which will be distributed to those in need.
Coats are being accepted at the police department, and can be dropped off anytime until Dec. 23. The station is located at 21 Clinton Road, West Caldwell.
"The goal of this drive is to collect and distribute used coats
Jersey Cares annually collects over 35,000 coats which they then disperse to nonprofit organizations throughout New Jersey.
Detective Paul Mazzeo
West Caldwell Police Department
Chief: Michael J. Bramhall
21 Clinton Road
West Caldwell, NJ 07006