BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Township of Bloomfield began its annual Season of Giving on December 4th with the Christmas tree lighting outside Town Hall. This six-week, community-focused initiative will continue through the new year, with Bloomfield residents and local businesses joining forces to collect non-perishable food items and baby items to be distributed by the Township, culminating in the Martin Luther King Day of Service on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at Demarest Elementary School. On that day, volunteers will take on a variety of service projects between 8:30am and 1:00pm.
MLK Day of Service began as an event organized and implemented informally by individuals throughout the United States, before the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), founded in 1993, began administering the day and offering assistance to municipalities and groups looking to get involved in the event. Bloomfield began being formally involved in the MLK Day of Service in 2015.
“In previous years the MLK Day of Service Committee focused on book drives, food drives and beautification projects at Bloomfield Middle School, the Bloomfield Public Library and Berkeley School,” said Bloomfield Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis, founder and chairperson of the Bloomfield Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee. “This year we will support Demarest Elementary School by assisting them in their vision of brightening areas at the school. In addition we will collect and distribute non-perishable food items and baby items for Bloomfield-area food pantries. All of these activities honor the legacy of Dr. King through our acts of service.”
Donations of non-perishable food items and new baby items can be dropped off at Bloomfield Town Hall, Fire Stations, the Civic Center, or the Library between now and January 13th. Recommended food donations this year include such non-perishable items as sealed peanut butter, jelly, cereal, pasta, sauce and soup. Needed gifts for babies include new, unopened diaper packs (all sizes), pull-ups (especially sizes 4, 5 and 6), baby wipes, diaper-rash cream, baby shampoo and soap, soft blankets, bibs, learning toys, baby and toddler clothing, bottles and snacks for toddlers and infant formula (Similac Advance is preferred).
“I am proud to join Bloomfield residents in formally celebrating the life and mission of Reverend Dr. King to uplift our communities and join hands with our neighbors to promote peace and prosperity for all,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “I encourage everyone interested in community service to participate in one way or another in the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service, and donate supplies at one of our upcoming drives.”
The two upcoming food drives will take place at Jack’s Super Foodtown on Saturday December 16th from 10:00am-4:00pm, and ShopRite on Sunday, January 7th from 9:00am-1:00pm. Both events will rely on the assistance of volunteers to help collect items at participating supermarkets and deliver where appropriate. To sign up for the Jack’s food drive, please visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e094bada828a1fb6-baby1. To sign up for the ShopRite food drive, visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e094bada828a1fb6-baby2 )
This year, as part of the Season of Giving, Bloomfield Township has created a supply wish list for the Bloomfield Public Library and the Bloomfield Animal Shelter. The Bloomfield Public Library’s Amazon wish list can be viewed online at: http://www.bplnj.org/support. Items in need for the Bloomfield Animal Shelter are also listed online at: http://bloomfeldshelter.com/supportus.html
The MLK Day of Service Committee is a (501c3) non-profit established in 2016. For ways to make a difference in the Bloomfield community during the six-week Season of Giving and MLK Day of Service, please visit http://dayofservice.nationbuilder.com 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.