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Still Growing The Family


As February comes to a close, we are pleased to announce that we are on track to wrap up the 2019 Giving Season with $345,000 donated to the Holiday Fund! 

We posted an update of donors in January, and our family of donors keeps growing! It’s just been a little over a month since our last donor thank you, and we wanted to take a moment to add our new donors to our Thank You.

Because of your generosity, members of our community have more access to 

  • Eldercare
  • Children’s Services
  • Victim Recovery Services 
  • Mental Health Support
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • and so much more

Thank you so much for helping us make a difference in Greater Newark.

February Update

Santa’s World Tour Included a Stop In New Jersey


For over 80 years, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund (GNHF) has provided services of care, hope and kindness to Northern New Jersey. Even the most impoverished and marginalized in the community find hope all year long thanks to a network of ten social service agencies in northern New Jersey who are best-in-class and pre-screened. Every donation is accounted for and filtered through their caring stewardship.

Over the years, The Holiday Fund has contributed nearly $12 million toward the betterment of thousands of families in the community. Annual donations have exceeded $300,000 a year; a tribute to the civic generosity of the people of New Jersey.

Santa Visits Again

During the 2019 holiday season, The Holiday Fund partnered with McCarter & English, LLP to brighten the holidays for nine students in need.

The McCarter & English Dear Santa Elves have been making children’s wishes come true in the city of Newark for 20 years, serving hundreds of youth in need by partnering with a local school district and providing holiday gifts for students who may not receive any during the holiday season.

This year, Santa asked GNHF to help the Wilson Avenue School (K-8) in the Ironbound Section of Newark that has an abundance of students that faced the potential of a holiday season without any gifts. GNHF and the team at McCarter & English worked with the same Chief Elf/Case Worker, Sonia Echevarria, who previously made wishes come true at Fourteenth Avenue School.

Santa signed an Affidavit confirming the children were on the Nice List (notarized, of course). Chief Elf Echevarria and the Elf Teachers assisted children in creating cards with their wish selections: an item of clothing and a toy for each student. Cards were then selected by the elves for shopping, wrapping, and labeling. Then came the careful job of loading the presents onto Santa’s sleigh for distribution at Wilson Avenue School.

There were many humbling and amazing moments, but nothing compared to the excitement and joy on the faces of the students who were holding in their hands the gifts that, previously, were just a wish on a card.

As planned, Santa (with his joyful helpers at the Greater Newark Holiday Fund and McCarter & English) managed to do it once again, and the holiday season was made brighter for nine New Jersey students.

Our Partner Organizations Serve All Year Long

Don’t forget — GNHF’s impact doesn’t just happen during the holiday season. The partnerships with affiliate organizations like Catholic Charities of Newark, Children’s Aid and Family Services, Urban League of Essex County and more, are strong and active all year long.

Your help is needed, not just during the holidays, but every day. Contribute to the important work of the GNHF Partner Organizations by giving online today.

January Update

Your Donation Makes a Difference


The 2019 Holiday Season is behind us, but we are still aglow with gratitude for the generosity of the hundreds of individual donors that donated to help make a difference in New Jersey. We could not have accomplished all we did during the 2019 Holiday Season without the help of every single donor.

Every dollar counts. In fact, if you haven’t given yet, it’s not too late. You can still make a difference where it counts by donating today at www.HolidayFund.org/give

Thank you, again, to our 2019 Donors. We are so proud to serve New Jersey alongside you and our ten partner agencies.

The Newark Holiday Fund touches thousands of lives

Anthony Azevedo was born and raised in Newark. He attended its schools and runs his business there. It’s a city that he knows and loves, so when he got the opportunity to work with the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, the decision was easy.

“I think it was a natural fit for me,” Azevedo said. “We were looking for something to contribute to and give back to, and I always knew about the Greater Newark Holiday Fund by seeing ads in The Star-Ledger, so it was a natural fit, growing up where I grew up.”

Serving the area for more than 80 years, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund began in 1937 as a gift drive for children of Newark’s neighborhoods. Today, it helps families and individuals in Essex, Union, Passaic, Hudson, Morris and Bergen counties by providing funds to area service organizations.

The fund primarily raises money from November through February, but accepts donations from Feb. 1 through Jan. 31 each year. Donations are received from larger businesses as well as from individuals.

After spending several years involved in the fund, two years ago as its treasurer, Azevedo was asked to step in to serve as president for 2018.

Anthony Azevedo

“I’m so proud to be a part of an organization that’s heading into its 81st year. There’s a lot to be said about that, all the good the organization does is seen by the donors. Even if it’s $5 or $10, people have been donating to it their entire lives, and they see the value of it.”

Azevedo will be joined by Honorary Chairman Angelo Genova, chairman and managing partner of Genova Burns LLC.

“As someone who is closely tied to Newark, I know what wonderful work the fund does throughout the year to help those less fortunate in northern New Jersey. This is an invaluable opportunity to grow awareness around a pervasive and all too often overlooked issue in our community,” Genova said.

Angelo J. Genova, Esq.

Azevedo, managing member with Pereira & Azevedo, LLC, a CPA firm located in Newark, and Liberty Payroll Solutions, LLC, said he has high hopes for this year’s fundraising campaign. He set a goal of $400,000, which will go toward 10 charities — Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Children’s Aid & Family Services, FAMILYConnections, Family Service Bureau of Newark, Family Service League, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest New Jersey, Newark Day Center, Nutley Family Service Bureau,  Urban League and Youth Consultation Service (YCS).

In addition, the New Jersey Devils are planning to hold an event on Dec. 1 designed to raise awareness of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund and to raise money for the charity. During that night, the fund will receive half the proceeds of a 50/ 50 event.

“It’s great recognition for us, they put us on the jumbotron, and it’s been great during the past few years,” Azevedo said.

Visit the Greater Newark Holiday Fund on Twitter at twitter.com/HolidayFundNJ or and Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreaterNewarkHolidayFund.

To listen to the podcasts, visit the Facebook page and selected videos.  

To make a donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, visit holidayfund.org.

The Newark Holiday Fund helps the lives of thousands

John Nietzel knows 2017 was a big year.

But he also knows more can always be done. As president of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, Nietzel, along with honorary chairman Marc Berson, chairman of the Fidelco Group, oversaw a fundraising campaign that brought in $372,446, which will be used to help nine charities: Catholic Charities, Children’s Aid & Family Services, Family Service Bureau of Newark, FAMILYConnections, Newark Day Center, Nutley Family Service Bureau, Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey, Youth Consultation Service (YCS) and Family Service League.

These groups help individuals and families who need help with food, shelter, clothing, substance abuse, mental health, job training, domestic violence prevention, support for child care, parenting  and child care skills, women empowerment programs and more; and money raised through the Greater Newark Holiday Fund is indispensable to their good work.

“The (GNHF) board members worked extremely hard this year partnering with NJ.com and Big Click, a social media company,” Nietzel said. “We were able to expand our reach and create new relationships, which we look forward to growing in coming years.”

Berson said he was impressed with the efforts of the GNHF volunteers. “This is my first year actively involved, and I got to really know those involved,” he said. The sincerity and energy and creativity they have. They’re really trying to pick up new approaches and working on ways to grow the base. I think it’s wonderful, and I’m very appreciative of everyone’s help.”

Now in its 80th year, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund began in 1937 as a gift drive for children of Newark’s neighborhoods. Today, it helps families and individuals in Essex, Union, Passaic, Hudson, Morris and Bergen counties by providing funds to area service organizations.

The Fund raises money every year from November through February, with donations coming in from larger businesses as well as from individuals. In fact, Nietzel said about 50 percent of the amount raised comes through smaller, individual donations.

“I want to thank everyone for their hard work, especially the teams at the agencies. They truly are doing God’s work. And I want to thank everybody who made a donation. With your support we were able to reach out through our partners at nine social service agencies and help people in need.”

Berson said he was honored to be asked to work with this year’s campaign. Berson has a long history of working with the community. He has been involved with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since its inception, has been involved with the Beth Israel Medical Center for more than 16 years, is vice chairman of RWJBarnabas Health, and has been chair of the Opportunity Project.

“It’s wonderful,” Berson said about the agencies. “The things they do and accomplish, my hat’s off to them. It’s sincere, and they’re helping the people who really do need the help. And for that, I feel honored to be able to help in some way and be a participant.”

Board members for 2017 include Marc Berson, chairman, The Fidelco Group; John Nietzel, senior vice president, Investors Bank; Sam Garruto, CPA; Frank Ferruggia, Esq., McCarter & English, LLP; Anthony Azevedo, partner, Pereira & Azevedo, LLC; Jason Altman, regional vice president, Enterprise Holdings; Desarie Ball, senior accountant, Floyd D. Townsend & Associates; Colleen DeNoto, vice president corporate counsel, The Prudential Insurance Company; Kelly Erhardt-Wojie, partner, Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer; Michael Gilfillan, president, Brick City Sports Capital, LLC; Calvin Ledford, director, External Affairs, PSEG; Jim Leonard, senior vice president, NJ Devils/Prudential Center; Philip Lipper, executive vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle; Marie Mathews, member Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC; Jennifer Mazawey, partner, Genova Burns; Michael Petrucci, vice president/area manager, The Provident Bank; Isabel Rodrigues, financial services representative, Mass Mutual Financial Group; Beatrice Romao, retail market manager, TD Bank; Betty Spiropoulos, senior branch manager, Investors Bank; and Ted Zangari, Esq., Sills Cummis & Gross.

Visit the Greater Newark Holiday Fund on Twitter and on Facebook. To listen to their podcasts, visit their Facebook page and selected videos.

To make a donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, visit holidayfund.org. This story is sponsored by Investors Bank. Visit myinvestorsbank.com.

— John Saccenti