BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Over the last several months, Bloomfield volunteers collected thousands of clean plastic shopping bags and learned how to yarn and crochet them into insulated "dream mats." These mats were donated directly to citizens experiencing home insecurity in Essex County. Classes were held in October, led by the Bloomfield Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department, Bloomfield Public Library and the Recycling Committee, teaching volunteers how to make mats. 

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to the many volunteers and organizers who conceptualized this creative and environmentally responsible project and made this a reality“ said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Thanks to their hard work, Essex County residents experiencing hardship will be a little more comfortable.”

“The idea to turn something wasteful--plastic shopping bags--into something useful, that positively impacts people’s lives, is really noble, and I am proud that our department led this initiative. I’d like to thank my Recreation Leader in charge of this project for her effort along with the countless number of volunteers and community organizations,” said Bloomfield Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Director Michael Sceurman.

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On January 20, with help from the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Committee, the mats were donated to Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. Non-Profit, which distributed the Dream Mats to people in need from our immediate area.

“Bloomfield residents are all about coming together to help their neighbors in need,” said Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis, founder of the Bloomfield Day of Service Committee. “We’ve seen that with our annual season of giving, when residents donate thousands of pounds of food and clothing, on our Day of Service, where we’ve assembled thousands of hygiene kits for the past two years, and this Dream Mats Project.”

“This was a great collaborative project that took hours of volunteers’ time, and brought the community together for a good cause,“ said Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, liaison to the Bloomfield Public Library Board of Trustees and Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Advisory Committee. “I’d like to thank the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, Public Library, Recycling Committee, and the Day of Service Committee for their vision, and Livingston Philanthropies for making sure these mats are given to people who need them the most.”