The NJII Healthcare Division came out in force for underserved area residents by hosting a free pre-Thanksgiving dinner at Barringer High School, at 90 Parker Street in Newark on Tuesday, November 19.
Thirty volunteers turned out for the event, including NJII President Don Sebastian, Healthcare Division Senior Vice President Tom Gregorio, and the division’s Executive Head of Operations, Lynn Wilson.
“The support I received in planning this event from our staff was overwhelming and inspiring,” said project Manager Ina Tubilleja, who organized the event. “I’m so thankful to be surrounded by this team.”
Volunteers served area families, Barringer students, and school staff a buffet-style Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, then delivered additional food to two local shelters — Apostles’ House and United Community Corporation — later in the evening.
The Barringer event also included community outreach and education.
Volunteers with the Essex County Cops 4 Kids, a non-profit of law enforcement professionals who mentor youth on issues such as leadership, career training and college readiness were on-hand to discuss the dangers posed by the more than 140 gangs operating in the area. They explained how to recognize signs of youth at risk of gang involvement, and preventative measures. Also on hand were members of the U.S. Census Bureau, who spoke about the upcoming 2020 count and its importance to school and infrastructure funding.
“The holidays tend to be a hectic time,” said Gregorio. “However, NJII and the Healthcare iLab is passionate about giving back to our community and we are appreciative that our staff is a part of our goal during this holiday season.”
The Healthcare Division has strong ties to Barringer, one of the oldest public secondary schools in the country. We host pop-up clinics on site there every month to provide free health screenings and education. The next will be held this Saturday, November 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and all are welcome.