SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Because of COVID social distancing measures Scotch Plains-Fanwood hosted a virtual MLK Day of Service celebrating the life of and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

"What an accomplishment to continue the tradition of volunteering and helping those less fortunate this year while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us all and keep us socially distanced from each other," Scotch Plains Mayor Josh Losardo said. "Virtual events have been prepared for today, as well as new and creative ways for people to lend a hand, give back, volunteer, so many hours spent dedicated to preparing for today so that this important Scotch Plains and Fanwood tradition may continue."

I recently listened to a podcast about Dr. Martin Luther King’s last speech. Dr. King, just 39 years old, spoke eloquently and powerfully.  He shared about his vision and seeing the Promised Land, but stated that he may not get there with us. We are still seeking that promised land today," Losardo added.

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Fanwood Council President Anthony Carter made remarks on behalf of the borough: "In my years, I have had the opportunity to coach young kids and interact with parents. Lil Baby has a song called 'Bigger Than Black and White.' There is no way possible to move world forward without all of our brothers, all our sisters and all mankind moving forward," Carter said. 

"It wasn't that people weren't aware and didn't care previously," Carter said. "Welcome aboard. We look at injustices and say, 'This is injust.' I hope this (message) is insightful without inciting. Thank you for the panel for doing this every year."

Delois Dawson, who was an usher at Dr. King's funeral, and Leland McGee presented the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Martin Luther King Day of Service Award to Kimberly Hood, who helps distribute food to 300 families in need and is a longtime active member of St. John's Baptist Church in Scotch Plains. 

"She goes beyond... and serves the people in the Plainfield area," Dawson said. "Her belief is 'If you care, you should do'."

"Great job Michelle, Amanda, Courtney and team again this year," said Union County Commissioner Chair and Scotch Plains Township Manager Al Mirabella. "Many things have changed but not the meaning of this program. I’m proud to be a part of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood community. Thanks for another great day on."

Cantor Darcie Naomi Sharlein of Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains concluded the program with a stirring a cappella version of "We Shall Overcome" before the Zoom presentation signed off. 

To view the video, click here.

Acts of Kindness and Service

  • Rotarians Tom Strowe, Pat Plante, Deanna Del Bene, and Al Smith Helped pick up bags of donated new hats and gloves for the Boys and Girls Club of Union County today as part of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Martin Luther King Day of service project.
  • Savory Selections catering delivered 82 meals to formerly homeless veterans.
  • The IHM youth group made sandwiches and packed boxes lunches for seniors. The crew included Don Keenan, Emil Manfredonia, Rachel Flanagan, Josh Wills and Katie Thompson.
  • BSA Troop 104 went to Oak Ridge Park for a MLK Day of Service hike and clean-up effort. The Scouts collected a contractor bag full of litter.
  • The JCC conducted a canned soup drive to collect 1929 cans of soup in honor of the year Dr. King was born. Donations went to two local food banks. 

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