Jumbo Care Packages containing handwritten letters of appreciation from grateful Americans -- including those from more than 100 Prudential Financial employees and their families --  were delivered to frontline healthcare workers at hospitals in Newark and the surrounding community.

Operation Gratitude and Prudential Financial, with additional support from Mars Wrigley, teamed up to deliver packages filled with coffee, single-serve snacks, and candy, hygiene and comfort items.  

More than 146,000 individual items were delivered to the Newark Office of Emergency Management Warehouse for distribution to six hospitals -- University Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Clara Maass Medical Center, Saint Michael’s Medical Center, East Orange General Hospital and East Orange VA Medical Center – as well as to the Newark Police and Fire Departments.

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“Essential workers are risking their lives daily so it’s great to know how much they’re appreciated,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Prudential, Mars Wrigley, and Operation Gratitude’s efforts and commitment to helping Newark and communities across our nation during this pandemic shows the power of collaboration and compassion.”

The deliveries in Newark were part of Operation Gratitude’s nationwide efforts in coordination with the six founding members of the Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders.  

With $1.5 million in financial support and  $5 million in product donations, the local companies as well as CSX, Starbucks, Veterans United and Liquid IV will have donated care packages to more than 300,000 doctors and nurses in hospitals; police officer, firefighters, and EMTs; and National Guardsmen in up to 400 locations across the country.  

Prudential provided $100,000 to support Operation Gratitude’s efforts to provide support to frontline workers. The partnership is part of the company’s broader commitment to aid communities across America, but especially their hometown of Newark during this difficult time.
 
As of May 27, New Jersey has surpassed 11,339 COVID-19 related deaths with more than 156,000 confirmed cases. Newark has been the hardest hit community in the state with more than 572 deaths and more than 7,000 confirmed cases. 

Frontline Responders have been working long hours to support the Newark community and ensure COVID-19 key indicators continue to drop. 

“As a military veteran myself, I often get recognized for my service. Now, as communities around our great nation are being exponentially impacted by COVID-19, I am grateful to be able to pay it forward,” said Jim Beamesderfer, vice president of veterans initiatives at Prudential. 

“Prudential’s partnership with Operation Gratitude underscores our commitment to the frontline workers and first responders risking their lives for ours, as well as our hometown city of Newark – one of the hardest hit by the pandemic,” Beamesderfer said.