ProudLiving Companies, a New Jersey-based real estate company with a mission of long-term neighborhood revitalization, is partnering with the City of East Orange, the East Orange Housing Authority (EOHA) and Sierra House for a festive Holiday Coat and Toy Drive on Friday, Dec. 20. The holiday-themed event will feature music, food, refreshments and special guests – including the man of the hour, Santa Claus, and local leaders such as East Orange Mayor Ted Green.
According to ProudLiving President and Founder TJ Caleca, the annual event continues to grow, thanks in part to an expanding donor base. He added, “These initiatives are just one component of ProudLiving’s dedication to our communities, where we serve as a contractor, developer, realtor and community partner.”
The Dec. 20 event will take place at 411 Main St., East Orange, NJ, from 3 to 6 p.m. ProudLiving is providing the space and covering event costs.
According to Caleca, ProudLiving Companies and partner organizations collected more than 5,000 items for this year’s drive, which is open to any families that need assistance during the holiday season. The event will also include food, music and photos with Santa.
Other local organizations – including Sierra House, the EOHA and SLZ Waste – will donate coats and toys. Sierra House is a nonprofit that provides housing to homeless youth and provides working families with affordable housing and life skills to children with developmental disabilities. The EOHA provides nearly 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers, senior housing and social services. SLZ Waste is a New Jersey-based waste management and recycling service.
“The ProudLiving team could not be more excited for this event. It is an opportunity for us to put smiles on the faces of those who live in our community and who are ultimately the ones who make our business possible,” Caleca added. “The holidays are a special time for everyone, and it is truly a privilege for us to be able to share this fun day with the city and its residents. It is our hope that these items will offset some of the additional costs associated with the season.”
The event emcee and EOHA Director of Operations, Elena D. Coley, said, “After over a decade of hosting an independent holiday event for our families, the EOHA is excited for the opportunity to expand our service reach within the community to further our mission of holistically enhancing quality of life through partnerships, social services and sustainable housing opportunities.”
She also noted: “This event is one of many services offered that extends beyond the traditional service model of housing to demonstrate our spirit of care and commitment to making homes for the holidays and well beyond.”
Just weeks ago, ProudLiving Companies donated 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys in a partnership with five New Jersey cities – another holiday event that also allowed staffers to help load trucks and distribute the turkeys across 11 drop-off locations.
Caleca added, “If ProudLiving can make even the slightest positive impact on someone this year, then these events will certainly have been a success and a foundation we can continue to build on for years to come.”
ProudLiving currently owns and manages more than 1,000 apartment units. Recently, ProudLiving acquired land to develop over 2,500 new construction units that are scheduled to break ground in 2020. In one such project, the company is set to develop two adjacent properties near Park Avenue in East Orange – 177 and 183 N. Arlington St. – which will provide 75 apartment units to mixed-income tenants.