PATERSON, NJ - Dozens of Paterson families got a little extra help last month thanks to a coalition of nonprofits working together to reduce the impact of COVID-19. What started as a book drive, Philomise LaGuerre of 4CS of Passaic County told TAPinto Paterson, turned into something much bigger.

Among the organizations participating were, CUMAC, Oasis- A Haven for Women and Children, Partnership for Maternal Health, United Way of Passaic County, and WAFAA. United Healthcare also had a table distributing information.

“It’s about connecting with the community so that someone else can benefit, Coleen Stevens Porcher, Executive Director, 4CS of Passaic County, said. “That’s why we do what we do.”

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Porcher also explained that the event, which recognized social distancing guidelines, was an opportunity for families to not only collect bookbags, diapers, healthy food, and other essential items, but also to complete Census 2020. “A complete count is good for childcare, food programs, and public safety,” she said. “Everybody benefits.”

Acknowledging that Census efforts were stymied by the spread of the global health crisis Porcher said that instead of backing down from the challenge organizations mobilized and “leaned in to each other.” 

“It was a setback,” she said. “But we are set up for a great comeback.”

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