From support for youth and families, job and housing counseling, and environmental education, to cultural enrichment, health education and services for the LGBTQ community, five nonprofit organizations (Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Greater Newark Conservancy, Independence: A Family of Services, La Casa de Don Pedro and Newark Pride) who are making a difference in Newark and beyond have formed a #GivingTuesday coalition called GAIN-Newark: Giving and Inspiring Newark. The collaborating organizations are seeking your support of Newark’s #GivingTuesday initiative in December.

“The goal is to celebrate giving and advance the idea that investment in charitable programs is not only vital to their success, but beneficial to the contributor as well,” noted Carrie Puglisi, Director of Program & Fund Development at La Casa de Don Pedro. “Giving helps promote social connections, it evokes feelings of gratitude and happiness, and it’s contagious.”

#GivingTuesday is a national movement that celebrates charitable activities at the start of the holiday season. This year, the GAIN-Newark coalition hopes to grow Newark’s #GivingTuesday movement from a small project to a critical mass to help change the way Newark and its stakeholders think about philanthropy and community service.

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GAIN-Newark’s coalition partners will host a free kick off celebration on December 1st from 6:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, 591 Broad Street in Newark. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served at the event, and representatives from the collaborating nonprofits will share information about their services and community impact. DJ Omar Abdallah and jazz musician Antoinette Montague will perform. Guests will be able to donate to the charity of their choice.

To date, confirmed event sponsors are Horizon NJ Health, Martini and Rossi, Shoprite of Newark, and Whole Foods, all Food & Beverage Sponsors, Media Sponsor Brick City Live, Marketing Sponsor RayZo, Inc., Printing Sponsors Minuteman Press and Stobbs Printing, and supporters PNC Bank and Senator Teresa Ruiz.

“I am proud to be part of this great cause that is bringing together the community to promote charitable acts of giving on #GivingTuesday. Giving And Inspiring Newark is an important initiative that will encourage people to give back and make the holiday season a little brighter for families in our area,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. “I want to thank the organizations that are working to make this happen, and for allowing me to be part of this event that is dedicated to benefiting Newark and its residents.”

GAIN-Newark’s nonprofit collaborators provide vital services to thousands of Newarkers annually:

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art presents memorable, innovative exhibitions, educational programs such as artists’ talk and exhibitions tours, and related cultural programming. Co-founded over 30 years ago by community-focused visionary artists, Aljira celebrates well-known as well as under-recognized, emerging artists and art of our time.

Greater Newark Conservancy is dedicated to the revitalization of Newark, NJ and surrounding urban areas. Founded in 1987, the Conservancy’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through four inter-related program areas: Environmental Education, Community Greening & Urban Agriculture, Environmental Justice, and Job Training.

Independence: A Family of Services, Inc. (IFS) has served youth and families struggling with educational and behavioral issues caused by poverty and unstable homes for over 43 years. IFS’ ultimate goal is to help clients in the greater Newark area and across urban northern New Jersey break the often generational cycle of dependency on government assistance, attain self-sufficiency, and live productive lives.

Founded in 1972, La Casa de Don Pedro provides a comprehensive range of services and community development initiatives for greater Newark, ranging from youth educational, cultural and recreational programs, youth & family counseling, community health initiatives, HIV/AIDS prevention & services, workforce development & job placement, affordable housing development and counseling, community development and organizing, home energy assistance conservation.

Newark Pride is a 100% volunteer organization affiliated with the North Jersey Community Research Institute (NJCRI) offering a range of services to Greater Newark including LGBT and HIV/AIDS services and programming. The mission of Newark Pride is to ensure that the social and cultural needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) constituents in the City of Newark and Essex County are supported and Newark continues to evolve as a safe space for all LGBTQ people.

Businesses and restaurants can also support GAIN by hosting “Give & GAIN” days where they donate a portion of their sales to the cause.

“Together, we can demonstrate #GivingTuesday’s impact and promote how people can support Newark by contributing to their charity of choice within the GAIN-Newark consortium, or among other deserving nonprofit organizations in the city,” concluded Victor Davson, Aljira Executive Director. “We invite local businesses to support our cause and attract new customers by hosting a Give & GAIN day in December; we look forward to helping interested parties come up with an event concept and will promote your 100% tax free contribution to GAIN-Newark or to one or more specific nonprofits in our group.”

Chipotle Grill, located at 222 Market Street will hold a Give & GAIN day on Tuesday, December 1st 4:30pm-8:00pm while Hotel Indigo will host an after party that same evening where a portion of the proceeds of a select menu will support GAIN.

For more information or to get involved with GAIN-Newark’s efforts, please contact Tenisha Malcolm at info@lacasanwk.org or 973.482.8312 ext. 1116. To make a contribution online or to learn more about GAIN-Newark and #GivingTuesday, visit www.newarkgives.org.