FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS — For the fifth year in a row, residents in the towns of Fanwood and Scotch Plains will be able to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by giving back to their communities.
On Jan. 20, , the 5th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service will take place in a variety of locations within these neighboring towns, providing a volunteer opportunities for the whole family. Dr. King believed that “everybody can be great because everybody can serve” and residents can support this belief by donating their time and lending a hand to the many diverse and worthy organizations in their area.
Sponsored by the towns of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, the Ministirium, the JCC of Central New Jersey, the YMCA, and Nick’s Pizza, the MLK Day of Service has become an important event for the community. While last year’s event was limited to a half-day’s worth of activities, there were still over 200 people in attendance at the opening program and over 500 who volunteered during the day.
This year’s Day of Service is back to full steam and promises to build upon and surpass this effort. Age-appropriate activities will take place throughout the two towns, from creating get well cards for cancer patients to baking dog biscuits for animal shelters. Families can assemble healthy snacks for after school programs and sandwiches for a local food bank. Children will also have the opportunity to create a poster representing the legacy of Dr. King for submission to the National Martin Luther King Day of Service poster contest.
For the adult members of the family, there will be opportunities such as cleaning the local nature center, working at a nearby Habitat for Humanity site, or participating in a round table discussion inspired by Dr. King. And for those unable to donate their time that day, they can still give back by participating in the JCC’s annual blood drive or by dropping off clothes, food, or gently used toys at one of many donation opportunities.
MLK Day 2014 will kick off with an opening ceremony at the JCC of Central NJ from 10 – 11 a.m. Guests will include Mayor Glover from Scotch Plains and Mayor Mahr from Fanwood. The program will begin with a “community values” art project and end with a brief musical program. All are welcome to attend.
Activities will begin immediately following the opening program and will be held throughout Scotch Plains and Fanwood between 11:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. And any volunteers in need of refreshment are invited to visit Nick’s Pizza, one of the sponsors, between noon and 3 p.m. to grab a slice of pizza—half of all proceeds will benefit the MLK Day of Service and a local charity.
All interested volunteers should visit www.spfmlkday.com. On-line registration will run until Jan. 18. Though same-day registration will be available during the Opening Program, participants are strongly encouraged to register on-line as space is very limited and has filled up quickly in the past.
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