Ten Newarkers to be thankful for

Every strong community has its unsung heroes, the everyday folks who work hard in the background – without complaining or seeking recognition – to make their corner of the world just a little bit better.

This Thanksgiving, we want to introduce you to 10 Newarkers who fit that description.

Earlier this month, we put out a call to readers asking for nominations, and we were blown away by many of the submissions. Though there were so many deserving nominees, we narrowed it down to 10 people who embody the spirit of community service through a wide variety of charitable efforts.

We specifically sought to highlight people who don’t normally get much recognition. These folks don’t have fancy titles or lead large organizations. Most rarely, if ever, get their names in the news. They simply saw a need and stepped up to help meet it.

As my colleague Matt Hooke and I drove around Newark interviewing our honorees this week, one common theme emerged. Almost every person we featured was quick to tell us they don’t deserve the recognition, that they’re just one of many people helping out and that, surely, there’s someone more worthy of honoring.

Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s not. But here’s the thing – even the smallest act can be the one that makes a difference for someone. And certainly, that’s something worth celebrating.

We hope reading these stories brings you some joy this holiday weekend and, more importantly, inspires you to think about what you can do – be it big or small – to help make our town a better place.

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