J&L Cos. and Sordoni Construction Co. hosted a second annual toy drive and luncheon benefiting Newark’s Christian Community Presbyterian Church, collecting and distributing hundreds of toys, art materials and books to more than 50 children who attend the congregation’s daycare program. — Courtesy: J&L
By Joshua Burd
A toy drive for children in Newark’s Ironbound section made its return this week with the help of the development team for a new 12-story, 403-unit apartment building in the area.
J&L Cos., the developer, joined Sordoni Construction Co. to once again organize the program in support of Christian Community Presbyterian Church on McWhorter Street. The firms this week distributed hundreds of toys, art materials and books for the second straight year, benefiting the more than 50 children attending the church’s daycare program.
The toy drive took place as construction continues at 55 Union St., the site of an apartment tower that is rising nearby and is slated to open in summer 2023.
“J&L is proud to partner with the CCP, Sordoni and the 55 Union project team to host another successful holiday toy drive for children in the Ironbound,” said Gabriel Lopez, vice president of Newark-based J&L. “This is a special time of year and we are thrilled to support local organizations providing important social services to families throughout the Ironbound neighborhood. J&L is grateful to call Newark and the Ironbound home for over 40 years and we look forward to fostering a spirit of generosity and spreading cheer each holiday season.”
In a news release, J&L said it once again mobilized its project team, including staff, subcontractors, vendors and design professionals, to collect the items that were distributed this year. The firm added that CCP plays an important role in the Newark community, serving families through a variety of social programs, and that it has plans for future partnerships with the church such as organizing events for children and supporting other needs.
“Giving back is so important and seeing the joy on the kids’ faces during last year’s Toy Drive made our team very excited to participate in this joyful opportunity again,” said Seth Levy, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Sordoni. “This holiday season, we thank all who participated and donated to CCP’s wonderful cause.”
J&L broke ground on 55 Union in March 2021, seeking to capitalize on a location two blocks from Newark Penn Station. The multifamily property will also have some 3,200 square feet of retail space.
With the return of the toy drive, CCP Church Senior Pastor Renato D. Bernardes said the parish and J&L Cos. “have been ‘more than ‘neighbors’ (and) are forging a shared valued partnership.”
“For the second year in a row, all the children of our daycare center have received a Christmas gift provided by J&L,” Bernardes said. “From its very beginning, the vision of CCP church is to be a congregation that is faithful to the Bible and relevant to the city of Newark. In that regard, the children in our community have been a major focus of all our programs and activities. We are delighted to have our ‘neighbors’ J&L Companies coming alongside us and providing meaningful support as we continue to serve our community, as we say, ‘for the glory of God and the joy of others!’”