Giving Back

Many Hands (and two robotics teams) Make Light Work

Robotics teams Fear the Gear and Cougar Cubs (and Cougars) collaborate with Stanley Congregational Church to make lunches and toiletry kits for Bridges Outreach. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Fear the Gear and Stanley youth loading the van with lunches and toiletry kits for homeless friends in Irvington. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
This Bridges Outreach run is comprised of robotics team members from Chatham and from Columbia High School along with adults and youth from Stanley Congregational Church in Chatham. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Stanley's Pastor Bernie and youth group member Bo Radaam bow their heads in prayer. Chatham's Laura McCormick readies supplies for homeless friends waiting in line. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Friendly robotics rivals from Chatham and Columbia High School had a great morning sharing their passion for building and programming with homeless friends in Irvington. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Homeless friends in Irvington are fascinated by the robotics' demonstration. This gentleman is taking a photo. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Robotics' team members engage with homeless friends waiting on line for food, toiletries and clothing. There were many detailed questions and answers. It was a truly meaningful exchange. Credits: Lucy Malatesta

IRVINGTON, NJ - Many Hands (and a couple of robots) Make Light Work Robotics teams from Chatham and Columbia High School in Maplewood came together with Stanley Church members and elementary school students to pull together a unique Bridges Outreach run to feed and offer fellowship to our homeless friends in Irvington on Sunday.

Friendly rivals in New Jersey’s First Tech Challenge robotics competition, Fear the Gear and the Cougar Cubs donated food and met at Stanley Congregational Church in Chatham this Saturday to make lunches. Stanley’s youth and pancake crew also raised money to purchase and put together 50 toiletry kits.

More lunches were made by kindergartners from Summit’s Central Presbyterian Church and many bags were lovingly decorated by more kindergartners and art students from Chatham’s Washington Avenue School.

Sign Up for E-News

On Sunday, robotics’ team members and church youth met at Bridges headquarters in Summit and followed the iconic yellow truck to Irvington, Civic Square. Bridges Outreach Coordinator Antoine told the volunteers how to set up, three tables for the food, toiletries and t-shirts to give to homeless friends and an extra table for the robotics’ demonstration.

Church volunteers got busy serving chicken noodle soup and lemonade to the 70 people who had gathered looking for help. Stanley’s new Pastor, Bernd Weishaupt, was part of the crew. He marveled at Bridges Outreach’s consistency, coming to the same place at the same time each week, bringing comfort to people who have so little and need so much. The robots were positioned near the end of the line. The people waiting were very curious about the robots and asked a lot of questions about how they were programmed, what could the robots do, what were the competitions like?

Columbia brought an extra robot that flies paper airplanes. One lady enjoyed folding her own airplane and watching it shoot out from the robot. Another man took a picture with his cell phone. It was definitely a fun way to pass the time while they waited on line and kids enjoyed showing off and sharing their “bots.” One man, Nico, asked if Fear the Gear had won the robotics competition.

The answer to that was “no, the team had a pretty tough year, but they learned how to fail and not quit, to pick up the pieces and try again.” Nico expressed that that certainly mirrored some of the tougher times in his life and that it was an important lesson. He said that working through setbacks makes you come back stronger. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes two robotics’ teams a church youth group and a lot of small children with big hearts and crayons to love our neighbors in this creative way.

Bridges Outreach has a more than 25 year history of bringing the housed and homeless together. They stress the importance of not only reaching out to our homeless friends with food and necessities but also with friendship, respect and love. This philosophy made them very open to the new idea of a combined Bridges run and robotics demonstration last year and this is fast becoming an annual tradition. Both teams have pledged to continue their outreach partnership in addition to their friendly competition.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 1, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

All three of the library’s summer reading programs open this week!  The theme of this year’s summer reading is Libraries Rock!  The children’s program kicks off with a magic show by Matt Cadabra on Monday.  Over ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.


Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Chatham Students Drury, McMahon, Moran, Pallitto Graduate from Scranton University

June 24, 2018

SCRANTON, PA - Students earning undergraduate degrees from Scranton University include the following Chatham residents.

Adam C. Drury earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in strategic communication; Kara L. McMahon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science; Meghan A. Moran earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources studies, and Christina M. Pallitto earned a Bachelor ...

Summertime Air Quality Issues

Summer weather can be harmful to your health due to air pollutants like ozone, mold, and moisture that are more prevalent both inside and outside than they are during cooler months. 

Sunny days, warm temperatures, and light winds don’t allow pollutants to be cleared from outside air. Instead, they encourage the formation of ozone, a leading air pollutant.  Ozone is ...