PATERSON, NJ - Signalling an expanded effort to share resources, coordinate strategy and planning, and establish a mutual aid network to provide homebound and at-risk populations with food and other essential needs, six Passaic County-based non-profits have joined together under the umbrella banner of the “Passaic County Pandemic Partnership” (PCPP).
According to a statement by the coalition that consists of The Boys and Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic, CUMAC, Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, Passaic County CASA, Paterson Habitat for Humanity, and Star of Hope Ministries, the partnership has been established to ensure that families in need continue to have uninterrupted access to crucial services while minimizing community spread of COVID-19. The PCPP’s main focus is home delivery of meals, groceries, and services for the elderly, homebound residents, those involved with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, as well as food insecure patients due for discharge from St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
“By establishing this partnership, we’re able to pool our organizational services, strengths, and volunteers into a county-wide resource network focused on ensuring that no struggling family is overlooked,” explained Erica Fischer-Kaslander, Executive Director of Passaic County CASA. “This pandemic has impacted all of our organizations at a moment when our work is more necessary than ever. When we realized that there was overlap across the communities we serve, we began coordinating together to meet their rising and increasingly complex needs. Ultimately, we created the ‘Passaic County Pandemic Partnership’ to amplify each organization’s impact and to ensure that we are taking care of our most vulnerable residents. I am thankful to be a part of a community where organizations and neighbors are supporting each other in a time of significant need.”
The PCPP has already provided services to 8700 individuals and plans to serve nearly 210,000 individuals in the coming weeks. In the next few months, the partnership also plans to offer additional services including childcare and educational support to households with school-aged children.
"One of the most inspiring things about the Passaic County Pandemic Partnership is the fellowship and genuine care that we all share for our clients, our teams, and each other as executive directors. No one told us to come together; we were driven by our commitment to the Passaic County community,” stated Mark Dinglasan, Executive Director of CUMAC. “We are six very different, very strong, and very passionate leaders that have been brought together by the growing and unprecedented need that has been created by this pandemic. Additionally, our community of volunteer drivers have selflessly donated their time and energy to ensure these supplies are delivered to vulnerable individuals. I know that when the dust settles on all of this, the 6 of us will have created something that will last long after this pandemic that I hope other communities and nonprofits will strive to emulate."
Support for the PCPP is supplied in part by Montclair-based non-profit, The Turrell Fund, which supports organizations that help youth, with special emphasis on children in need. Evan Delgado, Director of Programs at The Turrell Fund, will serve as manager of the PCPP fund hosted by the Community Fund for New Jersey.
“Here at The Turrell Fund, we have never seen an initiative quite like this. We’ve been struck by the coordination and collaboration on display between these driven leaders,” remarked Evan Delgado, Director of Programs at The Turrell Fund. “We believe cross-sector work is more important than ever as supply chain disruptions prevent access to food and other essential resources from reaching families in need. We are proud to support the Passaic County Pandemic Partnership in their efforts, and believe that more work like this needs to be happening across New Jersey. We welcome any and all new collaborators to this effort. We have much to learn from these front-line heroes.”
Those looking to support the efforts of Passaic County Pandemic Partnership organizations should contact one of the member organizations.
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