By Journalist Ms. Jones
NEWBURGH – Hundreds of people showed up to We Are Newburgh’s 4th Annual Thanksgiving Giveback on Sunday, November 18th at the Newburgh Activity Center. The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley donated over 1,500 lbs. of fruits and vegetables which were given away in the first two hours. A hot Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and more was also provided to the community. Even Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson helped serve meals.
“I came down last year and I come down this year… I just want to help because I’m part of the community,” said Jacobson who was sworn in early and represents the cities of Newburgh, Beacon, and Poughkeepsie as well as the towns of Newburgh, Marlborough, and Lloyd for the 104th District. “I’m excited to get going… I’m really happy that I got sworn in earlier so that I’ll be able to be more effective between now and when the session starts.”
Free clothing was available. Gift baskets, sneakers, boots, and coats were given away in a free raffle.
“It’s a season of giving… All of us in our community should reach back and try to make somebody’s holiday happy… to some people this may be some of the worst times in the year because they don’t have and they don’t get,” said NECSD Board of Education Member Philip Howard who donated sneakers and coats to the event.
Several master barbers donated their time and provided free haircuts to the community.
“This is… my 4th year doing this… I try to make my time for the community, for the love of my community. I’m part of the community. I feel that I have pretty much been blessed, so therefore it’s my job to reciprocate and give back as much as I can,” said Darrelll Burns who cuts the cadets’ hair at West Point during the day, and barbers at Dell’s Beauty at night.
Master Krafter Darrelll Williams gave Darrell Antalan a new look with his haircut.
“I really enjoyed it today… clothes, food… Everything is real good. People [are] nice and you get to meet a lot of different people that like to help you,” said Antalan.
Numerous beauticians volunteered and offered free haircuts, styling, and braiding.
“This is my second year. It’s been amazing. It’s such a great event and I love watching everybody happy… eating… one big community… nobody judging… Everybody’s having a great time… It’s really nice to give back to everybody… I’m happy [to] see people happy,” said Amy Goodwalt of Phoenix Unisex Salon who is a part of We Are Newburgh.
Chandra James, aka DJ Mizz Official, kept people on the dance floor with songs like “Wobble,” “Cupid Shuffle,” and old school jams. There was a dance contest for the youth and several cash prizes were issued.
“It’s about showing love… It’s about being committed to your community… Let’s get people to work together to show that there’s more than one group, one organization…We all come together… and we try to support one another… We can build this city together… It’s not only the city government’s job, but our job as citizens to make sure that our city’s okay… If you made it, go back and pull somebody out so they can pull somebody out… It’s about letting people know you’re not alone in this battle,” said We Are Newburgh’s Founder and President Joe Alvarez.
We Are Newburgh is currently not a non-profit organization. They sell t-shirts and hoodies year-round with their logo to provide services to the community. In the near future, Alvarez hopes to become a 501(c)(3) organization to serve the community on a larger scale. He also desires to open a vocational trade school in Newburgh that teaches A/C, welding, plumbing, carpentry, and masonry so individuals can have the opportunity to take care of their families.
Other organizations that donated included United Way, Planned Parenthood, Unusual Suspects, the Newburgh Activity Center, Gnostic Cuts, and AVG Detail Shop.