ELIZABETH, NJ – DECEMBER, 2017 – In the spirit of its annual Season of Caring Drive, on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 10 a.m., United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) and employees from Santander Bank will distribute gifts to children who attend PROCEED, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Elizabeth, NJ, that provides support services to children and families in need.

UWGUC’s Season of Caring Drive is an annual initiative that seeks to provide children from newborn to age eight with gifts during the holiday season. Every year, UWGUC partners with individuals, local businesses and companies to help fulfill the wishes of children who would not otherwise receive a gift for the holidays. The drive began on November 1st and officially ended on December 1, 2017. Pick up and drop off of gifts are currently underway until December 22, 2017.  

Last year, the drive served 1000 children all across Union County, NJ, and that number is expected to increase this year. “Our Season of Caring initiative speaks to the spirit of giving and drives at the very heart of every Union County resident. We were inspired by last year’s generosity of so many in our community who full-filled the wishes of grateful children all across our county and, are even more encouraged by how much we have been able to achieve thus far,” said James W. Horne, President and CEO at United Way of Greater Union County. To date, the initiative has already secured more than 1,500 gifts for almost 600 children.

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Over the years, Season of Caring has become one of UWGUC’s more popular engagement initiatives and this year’s initiative have garnered support from companies such as Bed Bath and Beyond, LernerDavid Intellectual Property Law, Genewiz, Eaton, UPS, FedEx, Banana Republic, Merck, NuStar Energy, Infineum, Lindabury, Roselle Savings Bank and more.

“If we are well off enough to afford food and gifts for our friends and family during the holidays, we also need to assist with our “social” families in our area that are not as fortunate to do so on their own," says Shirley Kulina, Administrative Assistant III at Santander Bank. "It doesn’t matter what happened to them to get in their situation – and one day it may happen to us – but it does matter that we help them to be able to enjoy these ‘special’ times also.  We ALL make up our community….not just the fortunate ones.” Santander Bank, also partnering to fulfill holiday wishes, will help distribute gifts to children beginning at 10 a.m. on December 19th inside the JK Mutlitcultural Family Success Center (which is funded by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders) at PROCEED, Inc. in Elizabeth, NJ. 

Photos from Season of Caring are posted regularly on the United Way Facebook page: United Way of Greater Union County and can also be viewed on the organization’s website at uwguc.org.

For more information, please contact Melanie McLaurin, Director of Marketing at United Way of Greater Union County at 908.353.7171, ext. 104.