Giving Back

Volunteer Projects on MLK Day in Scotch Plains-Fanwood

Sandwich-making at the YMCA Credits: John Mooney
Michelle Shapiro Abraham and Rabbi Joel Abraham Credits: John Mooney

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Township of Scotch Plains and Borough of Fanwood will co-host its 8th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service featuring on Monday, Jan. 16, a day filled with events and social activism in the community.

The opening ceremony will take place at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA at 10:00 a.m. Collection boxes for non-perishable items are being placed at the Scotch Plains Public Library (1927 Bartle Ave.) and Township Hall (430 Park Ave.) to benefit Operation Jersey Cares in effort to support our troops. Click here to see which items are in high demand.

Among the notable volunteer projects taking place on Monday are:

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A History of the Shady Rest
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
The Scotch Hills Country Club/Shady Rest Clubouse (Jeruselum Rd., Scotch Plains)
The Shady Rest was the first African American country club in the nation and John Shippen, the first American golf pro, was the head pro there for 25 years. Thurman Simmons, who is the authority/historian on the Shady Rest and the Chairman of the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation and the founder of the John Shippen Youth Golf Academy and on the Committee to Preserve the Shady Rest will give an oral history of the Shady Rest. The video “A Place for Us” will be shown.

SPFHS Black Student Union Teen Talk: An Open Discussion on Race and Race Relations
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Scotch Plains Library
This is an open discussion on race and race relations lead by the officers and members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Black Student Union (BSU). A short video presentation prepared by BSU members and friends will be shared prior to the discussion. 

Letters of Kindness
11:15 AM - 1:15 PM
Write a letter to homeless families offering hope for a brighter future. 

Collection for Chemo Care Bags for Cancer Patients
11:15 AM - 2:15 PM
YMCA Lobby (Martine Ave., Scotch Plains)
Four local moms who are Thirty-One Consultants are in the process of collecting sponsors for Chemo Care Bags to be filled and delivered to local Cancer Centers. We will have between 175-200 bags that will need to be filled. We would like to request donations for those bags including fleece blankets, fuzzy socks, puzzle books, decks of cards, hand lotion, etc.

Sandwich-making for Salvation Army and Plainfield Shelter
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
YMCA upstairs kitchen
Please arrive with sliced bread and meat/cheese. We will make and bag sandwiches together. This is great for a Boy or Girl Scout troop / team / family / friends / religious/community group to do together. 

Healthy Snack Bags for Homefirst
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Immaculate Heart of Mary - Nazareth Center (1571 Martine Ave, Scotch Plains)
This activity involves filling and organizing healthy snack bags for kids in the HomeFirst program. Please bring juice boxes, granola bars and/or other healthy snacks.

Food and Sneaker Collection
11:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Ivy Educational Services (250 South Ave. - enter on Martine Ave., Fanwood)
Stop by Ivy Educational Services in Fanwood and donate non-perishable items for a local food bank. Please also bring used sneakers to help Mane Stream Adaptive Horsemanship and Equine Assisted Therapies' Shoes for Shoes Program. Mane Stream partners with Community/ShoeBox Recycling in attempts to help keep shoes out of landfills, provide affordable footwear to people in developing nations, and raise enough money to cover farrier costs for the hard-working herd at Mane Stream.

Take a Break to Support Social Justice
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Mara's Cafe and Bakery (250 South Ave. - enter on Martine Ave., Fanwood)
Mara’s will be donating a percentage of its sales to SJM to help sponsor a “Juneteenth community celebration.” “Juneteenth” has become the most popular annual celebration of African American emancipation from slavery. It commemorates June 19, 1865 when the news finally reached Texas, fully two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Operation Gratitude- Card Making
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The Goddard School (324 South Ave., Fanwood)
Make Thank You cards that will be sent to, an organization that delivers care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

Food Drive at the YMCA
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Food pantry drop off at the YMCA in the lobby. Please bring non-perishable food items for our collection!

For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit Special thank you to the MLK Day 2017 Planning Committee:
Co-Chairs: Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Amanda Barnett and Courtney Agnello

  • Rabbi Joel Abraham
  • Joanne Sprague (YMCA)
  • Kimberly Koza (JCC)
  • Leland McGee 
  • Jim Meyer
  • Ellen Wolf
  • Alison Rivlin
  • Alyssa Amsellem

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