HACKENSACK -- In celebration of Martin Luther King Day and the spirit of helping those in need, a local non-profit founded by a member of the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders arranged the donation of 500 hygiene kits to area homeless. Containing various toiletries including soap, shampoo, deodorant, combs, band aids, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, the kits were assembled by local students and were distributed yesterday at the Bergen County Housing, Health, and Human Service Center. 

"Martin Luther King Day should be a day of service, and at this critical time where rhetoric and vitriol are remarkably negative, to have kids working together to think about  the broader community is so important. As the former liaison to the Bergen County Housing Authority, and a sitting board member of Social Services, I have been hands-on with assisting those in need to get back on their feet," said Freeholder Tracy Silna Zur, the founder of the non-profit group "We the People" that organized the donations. "Providing these toiletries, largely donated by Inserra Supermarkets, is critical for the well-being of this population, and it created an opportunity to have children discuss service to others as well as how poverty affects all communities from Alpine to North Arlington." 

Inserra Supermarkets is a noted patron of local causes that has donated millions of dollars to charities over the last thirty years. Other donations for the event were received from Learning Express of Ridgewood, Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Market Basket, and Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.

Zur started the “MLK Day of Service” in 2017 as a response to increasingly divisive rhetoric in the nation. The aim is to build bridges between the diverse groups on young people in Bergen County while reaching out a helping hand to the community and improve the lives of others together. Now in its second year, “We the People” brought together over 200 students in January with plans for expanded programs in the following year.