CLARK, NJ -- The Irish Business Association (IBA) of New Jersey has donated $6,000 to four local organizations to support their COVID-19 efforts. The association donated $2,000 to the nonprofits Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services and Community Access Unlimited and $1,000 each to the Trinitas Health Foundation and Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services of Elizabeth facilitates, promotes and fosters recovery from mental illness and co-occurring problems throughout North-Central New Jersey. The coronavirus has required the nonprofit to take extensive health and safety steps as it continues to fulfill its mission and support those who need its services, according to Cory Storch, president and CEO.

"We at Bridgeway are deeply appreciative of the generosity of the Irish Business Association,” he said. “Their donation will allow us to purchase protective equipment for staff that is doing home visits to high-risk individuals."

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Community Access Unlimited is an Elizabeth-based statewide agency supporting people with disabilities and at-risk youth to enable them to live fulfilling and independent lives within the community. The agency supports more than 6,000 members statewide with a variety of services, from support coordination and behavioral health services to remote learning, assistive technology supports and more, according to Bernadette Griswold, executive director.

“CAU is incurring substantial costs in purchasing and providing personal protective equipment to staff and members for their safety, and in building and promoting remote operations,” she said. “This donation from the IBA will help us continue doing that.”

The Trinitas Health Foundation is the fundraising arm of Trinitas Regional Medical Center. As with all hospitals, Trinitas experienced an overwhelming rush of patients during the coronavirus and unusually high related expenses.

“We are grateful to the board and members of the Irish Business Association for their donation, which was instrumental in securing critically needed PPE for our frontline employees at Trinitas Regional Medical Center,” said Nadine Brechner, the foundation’s chief development officer. “They helped to save many lives and keep our community protected from COVID-19.”

The IBA donated to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in the name of Micheala Oliveira, who is a surgical nurse and patient coordinator at the hospital. The association donated to the hospital’s general fund.

“Every person has the potential to change the lives of others,” wrote Kelly Gross, Barnabas’ vice president of development, in a letter to IBA president Peter Floersch. “Your gift to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in honor of Michaela Oliveira is a testament to that power and a truly meaningful way to celebrate the life of another person. Thank you for your generosity.”

Said Floersch, a partner with PKF O’Connor Davies LLP, a full-service certified public accounting and advisory firm, “Irish-Americans have always been extremely generous people and as a business association we felt it was proper for us to support those who are facing COVID-19 head-on in an effort to help others. We could not have selected four more deserving organizations for our donations.”

About the Irish Business Association

The Irish Business Association is an association of New Jersey business professionals and business owners launched in March 2008, committed to promoting business relationships and personal interaction within the Irish-American business community in New Jersey, based on a shared heritage. Visit them at http://irishbusiness.org and via Twitter at @irishbusinessNJ.