Giving Back

Summit Celebrates Mission, Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Day of 'Justice, Equality and Service to Others'


SUMMIT, NJ - For two decades, the Summit community has made Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- a federal holiday since 1986 -- a 'Day ON and not a Day OFF' through numerous opportunities to participate in activities created and enacted to demonstrate the "interconnectivity of justice, equality and service to others."

Beginning at 7 a.m. through 9:30 p.m. January 15, there will be numerous opportunities to participate in activities which demonstrate the interconnectivity of justice, equality and service to others.

The legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- peace, justice and equality -- will be honored through the following events:

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Service Projects for Teens & Pre-Teens at the Summit Free Public Library

January 13, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or 2 - 4 p.m.; January 14,  2 - 4 p.m.; and-or January 20, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Build a story:: Visit the library and pair up with an elementary school student to read together and create a story together using Lego Bricks. If time allows, you may also do some basic science and tech activities with elementary school students as well. Open to students in grades 6 - 12 who love to read. Volunteers who participate will receive community service credit as needed. 

January 14 - 10 a.m.

Unity Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Central Presbyterian Church - 70 Maple Street. The congregations of three churches will worship together, including Fountain Baptist Church, Wallace Chapel AME Zion Church, and Central Presbyterian Church. All members of the community are welcome. Free parking is available in the Elm Street lot, and childcare is available for children under eight years-old.

January 14 - 2 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Man of Conscience -- First Person Interpretation by Keith Henley, associated with the American Historical Theatre - Summit Free Public Library, 75 Maple Street

Sunday, January 14 - 6:30 p.m.

Screening and Discussion of Marshall - Christ Church - 561 Springfield Avenue

Community Groups in Need of New Item Donations - January 15

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

GRACE, Period Project, Kids Emergency Closet, Children in Unity
Diapers, socks, underwear, toiletries, books, toys (for elementary and middle school age), feminine hygiene products, nonperishable food items. Drop off at Kent Place School - 42 Norwood Avenue.

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Area Baby Center
Diapers, sizes 4 to 6 and baby wipes. Drop off at Twin Maples (rear) - 214 Springfield Avenue.

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

The Christ Child Society of Summit
Onesies or outfits: newborn to 3 months. Drop off at MONDO - 426 Springfield Avenue.

Events / Activities - January 15

7 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

"Helping Those Who Help Us" - Members of CHAT por Summit will serve “Day Laborers" coffee and baked goods on the corner of Ashwood Avenue. Donations of clean, gently worn winter clothing for adults are extremely needed: coats, sweaters, gloves & hats. Call 908-967-3549 to confirm attendance and maintain contact about weather conditions.

9 - 11 a.m.

“Thanking Those Who Serve Our Community” - Sponsored by The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey - 68 Elm Street. Children and families are invited to work with volunteers and teaching artists to make special cards thanking the people that keep our community safe: police, fire, hospital and emergency squads. Members of these groups will be on hand. Register at events/programming-series/.

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

“Clearing the Way for Spring” - Sponsored by Reeves-Reed Arboretum (RRA) - 165 Hobart Avenue. Join the RRA Horticulture Department for a morning of outdoor work. Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes and bring a refillable water bottle. Work gloves and water will be provided. Appropriate for volunteers ages 14 and up. Registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Trish Cassin at 908-273-8787, ext.1616 or t.cassin@reeves- Note that this session will not take place if there is inclement weather or hazardous conditions. For weather related updates, call the number above or visit

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

“Reuse, Recycle and Reach Out” - Sponsored by Reeves-Reed Arboretum - 165 Hobart Avenue. Stop by the Education Center to create a unique card from recycled materials. On Valentine’s Day, cards will warm the heart of a patient in a local hospital. Appropriate for all ages – children must be accompanied by an adult. No registration is required.

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

"Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things in Our Own Communities" - Kent Place School - 42 Norwood Avenue. Panel of speakers involved in service and social justice activities for all ages. Panel includes GRACE, Period Project, Kids Emergency Closet, Children in Unity. Age-appropriate sorting, education and petition-writing activities are planned.

10 - 11 a.m.

“A Child’s Helping Hands” - The Learning Circle YMCA, - 95 Morris Avenue. Brown bag decorating and sandwich-making for Bridges Outreach. Registration at the door on January 15 is mandatory. Sponsored by The Learning Circle YMCA.

10 - 11:30 a.m.

“Bridge the Gap Between the Housed and Homeless” - Bridges Outreach at the Oakes Center - 120 Morris Avenue. Bridges Outreach will host volunteer activities for all ages to benefit homeless children and adults; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Details at

10 - 11:30 a.m.

“Site 2: Bridge the Gap Between Housed and Homeless” Sponsored by Central Presbyterian Church - 70 Maple Street. Members of Central Church will host volunteer activities for all ages to benefit homeless children and adults; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Details at

10 a.m.  - 12 p.m.

“Readings from Speeches of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Pilgrim Baptist Church - 77 Morris Avenue. Sponsored jointly by Pilgrim Baptist and Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Coffee and refreshments start at 9:30 a.m. Program includes sermon by Reverend Ronald Allen, a play by Wanda Fortune and jazz selections.

10 a. m. - 1 p.m.

Blood Pressure and Glucose Screenings - Overlook Downtown - 357 Springfield Avenue. Sponsored by Overlook Medical Center, Community Health. Must call 1-800-247-9580 to register in advance.

10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

“The Color of Change in Black and White” - St. John's Lutheran Church Sanctuary - 587 Springfield Avenue. An interactive discussion on the aftermath of Charlottesville, the current state of race relations, and how our reactions can lead to meaningful change. Facilitated by Rod Williams, Fountain Baptist Church associate minister and Diversity & Inclusion consultant.

10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Voter Registration - St. John’s Lutheran Church - 587 Springfield Avenue. Sponsored by Tri-City NAACP, all adults and youth (age 18 on or before Election Day and older) are invited to sign up to vote. All forms and details will be available.

10:45 and 11:30 a.m.

“Through a Dog’s Eyes!” - The Connection - 79 Maple Street. Sponsored by The Seeing Eye of Morristown, meet puppies and their raisers. Learn the history of the organization and how dogs can enhance independence, dignity and self-confidence of blind people. Two 30-minute sessions.

12 - 1 p.m.

Multi-Cultural Lite Bite Luncheon & Fellowship - St. John’s Lutheran Church - 587 Springfield Avenue. Sponsored by The Grand Summit Hotel, The Rotary Club of Summit & New Providence and Summit Boy Scout Troop 67. Spotlight on grassroots efforts for justice, equality and service.

1 - 2:30 p.m:

Tributes - St. John's Lutheran Church Sanctuary - 587 Springfield Avenue. Hero Essay Winners, Keeper of the Dream Award Winners and music by Bill Robinson and Dan Crisci.

1 - 6 p.m.

Community Blood Drive Christ Presbyterian Church - 561 Springfield Avenue. Sponsored by The Rotary Club of Summit & New Providence Rotary Club and The American Red Cross. Advance reservations preferred. Visit -- enter sponsor code Christ Church - -or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.Age 16+ Walk-ins welcome.

2 - 5 p.m.

“Coat/Clothes Drive” - The Summit YMCA Teen Center, 67 Maple Street The Community is invited to donate all clothing, e.g. coats, sweaters, shirts, pants, sneakers. Teens will greet community members in the Teen Center to help collect and sort clothing. Clothing will be donated to a variety of different organizations.

2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

TryCAN Families at the Movies - Pilgrim Baptist Church, 77 Morris Avenue. Children with special needs are welcome to come out for a Movie & Dance party, highlighted by a showing of the movie 101 Dalmatians on the big screen. Children will enjoy a visit from a therapy dog, courtesy of Creature Comfort Pet Therapy. Hosted and sponsored by the Summit PAL and Summit Department of Community Programs, chaperoned by volunteer teen mentors and sponsors’ staff. Limited number of teens welcome to volunteer and receive credit for Community Service. Must email in advance. No walk-ins.

3 - 4 p.m.

“Songs of the Struggle” - Community Room, Vito A. Gallo Building - 12 Chestnut Avenue. Sing songs that inspired the Civil Rights Movement and helped build community as people struggled against racial injustice and oppression. Led by Pastor Gladys G. Moore of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Refreshments follow.

3 - 4 p.m.

“Sign of the Times” - The Summit YMCA Auditorium, 67 Maple Street. This event will start with an activity that focuses on how the times have changed and / or stayed the same since the Civil Rights Era. It will be followed by a teen panel that will discuss and answer questions relating to issues in today’s society from a teen perspective.

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

“Joe’s Violin” - Congregation Beth Hatikvah - 36 Chatham Road. Sponsored by Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Congregation Ohr Shalom/SJCC and Temple Sinai, the film tells the story of a donated violin that forges a bond between a holocaust survivor and a young Latina immigrant in this Academy Award-nominated short documentary. Discussion and free pizza dinner. RSVP to

7 - 9:30 p.m.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Service - Fountain Baptist Church - 116 Glenside Avenue. Sponsored by Fountain Baptist Church, The Tri-City NAACP and The Connection. There will be a guest speaker.

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