(Newark, NJ) – As we approach the holiday season, it is so important to remember the less fortunate and give back to those in need. There are many community-based organizations in Essex County and the surrounding area, but one organization based in Newark, New Jersey – the Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement – has done a tremendous job of distinguishing itself through its service to the homeless and low income residents of Essex County.

The Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement was founded by Tanya and her husband Matthew Veltz in 2017 and seeks to promote and show respect, love, and compassion towards people from all different walks of life. The non-profit organization works with local businesses to provide food, clothing, shelter, furniture, counseling and other assorted relief to residents in need from Newark and surrounding areas. By working with existing community and regional resource agencies, they garner donations and help individuals and families meet their basic needs of housing, food, and clothing.

Earlier this month, they were one of the initial 23 charitable organizations nationwide to receive a grant from a new Wendy’s Company program dedicated to donating $500,000 yearly to entities supporting social justice, youth and education in the Black community. The Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement was the only charity in the tri-state area to be selected. This national recognition is a testament to the impact of their service, and how much it has resonated among other charitable organizations. Essex County Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson, a Newark native, is extremely proud of the organization and all they have accomplished. Freeholder Richardson stated, “The financial grant from a renowned brand like Wendy’s was phenomenal, but it is important to recognize that the service they have provided to the people of Newark and greater Essex County is what should be appreciated by all of us.” He continued, “The Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement has made a significant impact in a relatively short period of time, and their success is our success.” 

The Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement is staffed by a close-knit group consisting of founders Tanya and Matthew Veltz, Vice President Kaif Ismail, Director of Sponsorships Joe Adams, and Director of Communications Kaila Boulware. They work a full 40 hours plus per week year around and do everything from prepping/serving meals and obtaining clothing for donations, to securing partnerships with local organizations and promoting their events. They have cultivated several long­ term partnerships with local non-profit outreach organizations, elementary and high schools, and branches of law enforcement including Barringer and Westside High Schools, the 5th Ward Police Station, and the Urban League of Bergen County. Since April of 2020, they have served over 30,000 prepared meals to as many as 500 people in a day, and have provided over 300,000 pound of groceries to those in need.

Tanya Veltz has a solid track record of honors and rewards from organizations with significant local influence for providing "distinguished community service" in Essex County. However, helping people who are less fortunate remains her true motivation. “Helping people is the right thing to do. No one wants to see anyone go hungry, no one wants to see people go without.” Mrs. Veltz stated. “I've been through a lot of hardships, and once I got on my feet I promised myself I would help others. If there's something I can do every single day, that's what I'll do.”

“Mrs. Veltz and her staff at the Tree House Cultural Arts & Entertainment Movement are the true heroes of our society,” Freeholder Richardson stated. “There wasn’t a ready made path for them to follow, but they made their own path and should be applauded and recognized for the good work they have done in our community.’