SUMMIT, NJ - For more than two decades, Hilltop City residents have gathered to 'spend a day on, not a day off' by donating their time to myriad intiatives and causes on the day America celebrates the birthday and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 2019, the 21st consecutive year of the annual day-long program in Summit, local nonprofit organizations and houses of worship will offer more than 20 community-related activities and the City of Summit has announced an expansion of the event's scale -- to now include discussions on community building and present day struggles against racism and injustice -- and an amendment to its official title: now known as the 'Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Justice, Equality and Service to Others'.
“This is an opportunity not only to volunteer and make a difference in our community but to learn about and discuss racism, inequality and how it impacts us all,” said Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “Event organizers have expanded the mission of Summit’s MLK Day to be more in sync with the teachings of social justice and equality that Dr. King advocated during his life.”
Organized and administered by Shaping Summit Together -- a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of community agencies, individuals, houses of worship and non-profits dedicated to ensuring that Summit stakeholders work together to help Summit reach its full potential as a mature, diverse, suburban community -- the day will include:
7 - 8:30 a.m.
Helping Those Who Help Us
Members of CHAT por Summit will serve 'day laborers' coffee and baked goods on the corner of Ashwood Avenue. Donations of clean, gently worn winter clothing for adults are extremely needed: coats, sweaters, gloves & hats. Call 908- 967-3549 to confirm attendance and weather conditions.
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Reusable Bags Needed for Food Pantries
Sponsored by Green Summit NJ. Excess reusable bags (new or used; any size / any logo accepted) are needed for various food pantries and organizations in Summit. Recipients will include G.R.A.C.E.'s Refrigerator, Loaves and Fishes, Meals on Wheels and SHIP. Drop off locations: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Oakes Center (10 - 11:30 a.m.) and St. John’s Lutheran Church (10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.).
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Reuse, Recycle and Reach Out
Sponsored by Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Ave. Stop by the Stackhouse Education Center to create a unique, one-of- a-kind card from recycled materials. On Valentine’s Day, yourcard will warm the heart of a patient in a local hospital. Appropriate for all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is not required.
10 - 11:30 a.m.
“Bridge the Gap Between the Housed and Homeless”
Bridges Outreach at the Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, will host volunteer activities for all ages to benefit homeless children and adults; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Site 2: Bridge the Gap Between Housed and Homeless
Members of Central Church, 70 Maple Street, will host volunteer activities for all ages to benefit homeless children and adults; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 3 - 5 p.m.
Donate Children’s Books
Drop off gently usedchildren’s books at Christ Church, 561 Springfield Avenue. Board books, picture books, easy readers, up through young teens’ chapter books will be sorted and given tochildren whose families participate in GRACE, a program providing food assistance to Summit families in need. Extrabooks will be donated to children’s organizations.
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
BMI Screenings and Glucose Screenings
Overlook Downtown, 357 Springfield Avenue. Sponsored by Atlantic Health System-Overlook Medical Center Community Health. For info or registration, call 908-522-2842.
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Learning How to Serve and Finding Tools to Talk with Children about Race
Guest speakers from First Friends of NJ / NY and One World OneLove NJ will share their work’s impact on the community. Hands- on opportunity to sort and pack donated items for delivery. Arts & Crafts activities for children. Panel discussion, “Talking to our Children about Race and the Unholy Symbols of Hate” –encore presentation by The Summit Interfaith Council. Kent Place School, 42 Norwood Avenue.
9:30 - 11 a.m.
The Words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Come Alive
Sponsored jointly by Pilgrim Baptist and Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Coffee and refreshments served beforehand. Program includes reading of Dr. King's sermon, preaching from Rev. Ron Allen of Pilgrim Baptist and jazz selections. Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4 Waldron Avenue.
10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sponsored by Tri-City NAACP. All adults and youth (age 18 on or before Election Day and older) are invited to sign up to vote. All forms and details available. St. John’s Lutheran Church, 587 Springfield Avenue.
10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Through a Dog’s Eyes!
Sponsored by The Seeing Eye of Morristown. Meet puppies and their raisers. Learn the history of the organization and how dogs enhance independence, dignity and self-confidence of blind people. Two 30-minute sessions. The Connection, 79 Maple Street.
12 – 4 p.m.
Social Justice Community Quilt-Making
Youth and adults are invited to make a quilt square to contribute to a community social justice quilt to be hung in Summit in 2019. Materials available on site for your use. All are invited to view exhibition of artist Kevin Blythe Sampson, recognized for tackling difficult issues through socially-engaged artwork. An African-American artist and retired police officer, Sampson reflects intimate understanding of the contemporary African-American experience, Black and Blue Lives Matter movements. The Visual Arts Center of NJ, 68 Elm Street.
12 - 1 p.m.
Multi-Cultural Lite Bite Luncheon & Fellowship
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 587 Springfield Avenue.
1 - 2 p.m.
Keeper of the Dream Award Ceremony
2019 honorees: The Connection, Pastor Glady G. Moore, Dr. Paola A. Acosta Diaz, and Summit Chief of Police Robert K. Weck. Music by Bill Robinson and Dan Crisci. St. John's Lutheran Church Sanctuary, 587 Springfield Avenue.
1 - 6 p.m.
Community Blood Drive
Sponsored by The Summit-New Providence Rotary Club and The American Red Cross. Advance reservations preferred. Visit www.redcrossblood.org (Enter sponsor code Christ Church) or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Must be aged 16+. Christ Church, 561 Springfield Avenue.
2 - 4:30 p.m.
TryCAN Families at the Movies
Children with special needs are welcome to come out for a Movie & Dance party, highlighted by a showing of the movie 'Inside Out' on the big screen. Children will enjoy special entertainment. Chaperoned by volunteer teen mentors and Sponsors’staff. Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad headquarters, 1000 Summit Avenue (park in Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School parking lot).
2 - 3 p.m.
Donate coats for all ages.Teens will greet community members to collect and sort coats which will be donated to various organizations. The Summit YMCA Auditorium, 67 Maple Street.
3 - 4 p.m.
Songs of the Struggle
Sing some of the songs that inspired the Civil Rights Movement and helped build community as people struggled against racial injustice and oppression. Led by Pastor Gladys G. Moore of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Refreshments follow, facilitated by Dorothy Burger and family. Community Room, Vito A. Gallo Building, 12 Chestnut Avenue.
7 - 9:30 p.m.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Service
Sponsored by Fountain Baptist Church, The Tri-City NAACP and The Connection. Fountain Baptist Church, 116 Glenside Avenue.
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
From Swastika to Jim Crow
Sponsored by Temple Sinai, Congregation Beth Hatikvah and Congregation Ohr Shalom/SJCC. Documentary explores similarities between Nazism in Germany and racism in the American South. In 1939, the Nazi government expelled Jewish scholars from German universities. Many found teaching positions in Southern universities where they sympathized with the plight of their African-American colleagues and students. Pizza Dinner / Director Discussion follows. RSVP: email@example.com. Congregation Beth Hatikvah, 36 Chatham Road.