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 - 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 homeless friends in Irvington.

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 Civic Square in Irvington. 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 woman 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 their 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 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


Spring is (Almost) Here

Get ready for farmers markets and outdoor events, spring is bound to come at some point! To help you get ready Sadie's has lots of new spring products including this great Market Tote by Feed- the purchase of this cute everyday bag will donate 50 school meals. While stopping in for this tote check out some of the other great spring items just in. Don't forget the charity of the month is ...

Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood Senior Center Holds Grand Opening on St. Patrick's Day

March 21, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Senior Center has been open on Burnett Avenue for several months and this past Saturday, Maplewood Township officials, many seniors and community members held a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting officially dedicating the center.

As Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day holiday, the Senior Center celebration included green bagels ...

Maplewood to Hold Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 25

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hop on down to Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt! Maplewood will hold its 34th annual hunt on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

An email from the Maplewood Recreation Department states to "please arrive promptly at noon with a basket or bag to make sure you don’t miss anything."

At last year's event, hundreds of kids ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Boccone South, South Orange

A Taste of Italy

Food & Drink

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Hundreds Cheer on Marchers and Bands at 67th West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Even a week’s delay caused by a massive snowstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of the large crowd of spectators who cheered on the marchers and bands who participated in West Orange’s 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Wending their way up Main Street were more than 25 bands, including marching bands from northern New Jersey high ...

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Winter Storm Update from South Orange

March 21, 2018

New Jersey and Essex County has announced Emergency Declarations which South Orange will also have in affected March 21, 2018, 9 :00 a.m. Please move all vehicles from the road way to allow for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to clear the roads.

Village Municipal Offices, Library and the Baird Community Center will be closed.
Please see a detailed forecast and more information ...

Storm Advisory from Maplewood

Winter Storm Information – Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – 4:00pm

1) Emergencies – Please call 911 if you have an emergency. You can also call 973-762-1234 for a direct connection to a police dispatcher. Do not call the Fire Department or Public Works. Call the police at 911 or 973-1234.

2) Jitneys – The Maplewood Jitneys will operate ...

Summer Camp at Lightbridge Academy in Millburn

If you are looking for a fun-filled summer for your little ones, look no further!

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn is providing a summer camp program with tons of exciting guests, water play activities, and so much more!

Call us at 973-218-1800 to learn about what we have to offer.