The Bloomfield Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee has been carrying out good works in the civil rights hero’s name for the past five years, particularly gathering food supplies for residents in need, and painting murals in Bloomfield public schools that emphasize King’s values. This year, the committee is setting an ambitious goal of collecting 5 tons, or 10,000 pounds of food for local pantries.
Additionally, volunteers will help creating 1,000 hygiene kits for needs individuals at the day of service on Saturday at the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green at 147 Broad St. from 8:00am to approximately 12:30pm. Contents for these kits, such as shampoo, toothbrushes/paste, deodorants, soaps, etc. have been donated by individuals as well as local organizations. Residents can also deposit these items at Town Hall, the public library, and firehouses.
“We have spoken to organizations that provide social services and we are collecting items based on their feedback. The MLK Committee will focus on our most vulnerable residents; the homeless, those at risk of homelessness, those who have food insecurities or those who do not have enough money to buy basic hygiene items like soap or toothbrushes etc. By supporting this project, you are supporting your family, friends and neighbors,” said Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis, who started Bloomfield’s Day of Service initiative in 2014. “Like the murals that our committee members painted in Bloomfield schools in recent years, this food drive and supply drive will serve as tangible reminders that Dr. King’s legacy lives on in our community. I strongly encourage any interested persons to participate in Saturday’s festivities.”
The Township of Bloomfield began its annual six-week long, community-focused Season of Giving on December 4th with the Christmas Tree lighting outside Town Hall, and will continue the Season of Giving with the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
The MLK Day of Service Committee is a (501c3) non-profit that has helped collect food and clothing for drives that took place last month, and will continue to collect supplies for Bloomfield-area shelters and community aid organizations. For ways to make a difference in the Bloomfield community during the six-week Season of Giving and MLK Day of Service, please visit their website, the group Facebook page, or e-mail Councilwoman Dr. Davis at BloomfeldMLKday@gmail.com. All donations to the MLK Day of Service Committee are tax deductible and can be made in honor of a family member or friend.
Committee members include Rev. Ruth Boling, Ms. Bridgit Brown, Mr. Luis Felix, Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis, Ms. Debbie Freeman, Ms. Jenni Gamble, Councilman Ted Gamble, Mr. Doug Grant, Dr. Djanna Hill-Tall, Ms. Claudia Jackson, Councilman Nicholas Joanow, Ms. Dana Moore, Ms. Vanessa Phipps, Ms. Paula Peikes, Ms. Jody Polidoro, Ms. Melissa Santiago, Mr. Michael Sceurman, Mrs. Mary Todaro, Deacon Robert Walker, and Township Administrator Matthew Watkins.
“I would like to thank everyone on our MLK Day of Service Committee for their vision and hard work to honor Dr. King’s legacy of community service, charity, and unity,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “I encourage everyone who has or has not shared in the communal spirit of our annual day of service to join us Saturday morning at the Presbyterian Church on the Green. I am grateful to Councilwoman Davis for spearheading this great initiative that has become a staple of Bloomfield community service. The Township Council and I have and will continue to support this very important work, and I am excited for what promises to be a great day.”
A town-wide celebration will follow, on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 21, from 3-4 pm at New Light Baptist Church, 89-91 Dewey St. The theme of the service is “A Knock at Midnight: a Community Answers.”