Amazon officially opened its new Haverhill distribution site Wednesday, giving the United Way’s One Haverhill Fund a $10,000 donation as a good neighbor demonstration.
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley Vice President of Engagement Dahlia Cox accepted the donation in the presence of local elected leaders, including Rep. Andy X. Vargas who encouraged creation of the fund last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To have a company come into the city and immediately fulfill their word. That is true partnership right there,” Cox said, adding Amazon has also pledged to offer helping hands during days of service.
Cox said the One Haverhill Fund has raised about $130,000 since it was created. The charity covers the costs of essential needs including rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity, childcare, medications and other basic necessities for families impacted by the health crisis.
Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini called Amazon’s opening “a great day for the City of Haverhill.” He noted the company has 64 employees on site now and another 60 working as drivers. When the online retailer completes its buildout, the mayor said, the company will have as many as 250 employees on location.
Besides Vargas and Fiorentini, others taking part in the ceremony were Rep. Leonard Mirra; City Council President and Vice President Melinda E. Barrett and Colin F. LePage; City Councilors Joseph J. Bevilacqua, a former United Way chairman, and Timothy J. Jordan; Haverhill Police Chief Robert P. Pistone and Deputy Chief Stephen J. Doherty Jr.; Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien; Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. and Assistant Pamela Price, among others.
Amazon bought the 25 Computer Drive property in the Broadway Industrial Park after it was vacated by Southwick Clothing, a manufacturer of Brooks Brothers suits that declared bankruptcy last year Unlike Southwick, Fiorentini said, Amazon did not request or receive any taxpayer help.