NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Diversity Committee held their first service care project at Manor Care Health Services on Monday. Inspired by Martin Luther King Day, members of the community, from school aged to adults, visited residents at Manor Care to participate in Bingo.

Ayana Joseph, a member of the Diversity Committee and Our Lady of Peace, led the service project and was pleased with the turnout and the interactions between residents and volunteers. “This event has a positive effect on the residents, it is bringing old and young together, and putting a smile on the residents' faces,” said Joseph.

Joseph also explained why it was important to hold a service care project on Martin Luther King Day, “what better way of bringing King’s community ideals to life, than participating in our community.” Joseph has been a member of the New Providence community for four years and is also involved in the Berkeley Heights Cultural Events Committee, where a service care project was also being held at Autumn Lake Healthcare.

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She explains that this is the first year that New Providence has held an event of this nature, the second for Berkeley Heights, but hopes this could turn into a monthly occurrence for New Providence.

“Participating in these kind of events makes the kids become better citizens, we will start with something small in our community, then take to the next level,” explains Joseph.

Tonya Donelly partook in the community event, accompanied by her children, Aiden and Sean. Aiden, who is a 9th grade student in New Providence High School, is looking to complete his confirmation and took advantage of the event. He currently has 11 of the 12 hours needed, but stated “It feels good to hang out with the elderly,“ and added that after his hours are complete “I will continue to volunteer if needed.”

Aiden’s younger brother Sean attended as well, and contributed because he just wanted to help.

Mother and daughter; Christine Morgan and Kate Hearn, could be seen mingling among the residents. In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, Morgan recited different facts about Martin Luther King, she had learned earlier from the History Channel, like, Dr. King’s original first name was Michael not Martin.

James Riley and his mother Maureen, spent their time with Anthony “Bud” Angelo, who could be heard spitting out witty commentary, which had everyone amused.

Renie Carniol, a New Providence resident who was also at the event, expressed the significance of these type of events. “It is important to give back to the community and the elderly, they are a vital part of the community.”