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Archdiocese of Newark Distributes Hundreds of School Supplies to Students in Need

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Photos courtesy of the Archdiocese of Newark

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ,  the Mercy House, a family-oriented resource and referral center operated by the Archdiocese of Newark Respect Life Office, distributed dozens of backpacks and hundreds of school supplies to families in need during its annual Back-to-School Day giveaway at its Newark location (620 Clinton Ave.) on August 30.

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Dozens of local families and children in need attended The Mercy House’s Back-to-School Day event. Every child who visited left with a backpack filled to the brim with supplies such as lunchboxes, notebooks, paper, rulers, pencils, pens, crayons, art supplies, calculators, and more — all generously donated by archdiocesan parishes, schools, individuals, and organizations. Two moms also received uniforms and school shoes for their children.


“There have been times in the past when children could not start school because they did not have supplies or proper uniforms,” said Cheryl A. Riley, director of the Respect Life Office and The Mercy House. “We will help any mom who needs help with these supplies. We want to make sure that each child and family has essentials.”

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In 2018, the Archdiocese opened the first Mercy House location in Newark to provide a safe, faith-filled environment for expecting mothers, individuals dealing with addiction, and those in abusive relationships. Since then, the resource and referral center has expanded its mission to serve anyone in need by providing nonperishable food, clothing, baby supplies, furniture, and help finding work and housing. The Archdiocese’s ultimate goal is to operate Mercy House locations in each of the four counties it serves: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union.

The Mercy House is open year-round on Tuesdays and Fridays, distributing 3,000 bags of food annually and 40-50 bags of clothing and household items on a weekly basis. Learn more by visiting

The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit

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