We Honor Dr. King with Service, Volunteerism, and Celebration

The Coalition on Race will sponsor a twofold celebration of Dr. King’s birthday featuring an interfaith observance and a volunteer fair.  The service is co-hosted by First Baptist Church of South Orange and Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church and will be held at Morrow on that Monday, January 21 at 3pm.   The special guest speaker is Junius W. Williams,  noted attorney, educator, musician and community advocate.  As the Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, at Rutgers University, Newark, he teaches advocacy skills to parents and professional educators.  Mr. Williams is a veteran of the civil rights movement,  having participated in demonstrations with local people in Montgomery and SNCC staff in what became a parallel campaign for the right to vote.

Music will be provided by a jazz ensemble and our local Voices in Harmony choir.  Volunteer activities in South Orange and Maplewood will be promoted throughout the Dr. King holiday weekend and will culminate in an on- premise Volunteer Fair that includes real-time service opportunities, as well as information from local organizations about serving through the year.  Organization interested in participating in the fair should contact Audrey Rowe at 973-761-6116, x4 or send an email to info@twotowns.org.


Winter Blood Drive–Monday, January 21st, 9:30 am -2:00 pm at the SO Rescue Squad, 4 Third Street, SO.  Organized by the South Orange Rotary, Maplewood Rotary, W/SO Interact Leaders, & SHU Rotaract.  Call Stacey Borden at 973-454-6272 for more information or visit www.nybloodcenter.org for eligibility information. Click here for flyer.

Rent Party BackPack Pals–Assemble backpacks filled with essential items for families in need in Maplewood and South Orange.  Materials will be provided–assembly will take place at the Volunteer Fair immediately following the MLK Observance, Monday January 21st in Morrow Church’s Fellowship Hall.  Donations for future backpacks are welcome.

PTA-sponsored MLK Special Event for Children, 10 am – 12 noon, Maplewood Middle School Auditorium; advance tickets recommended.  Click here for details.

M.E.N.D–meeting emergency needs with dignity. MEND is an interfaith anti-hunger network in Essex County that provides emergency food to individuals and families in crisis.  Please bring non-perishable foods (no glass) like cereal and canned goods to the Volunteer Fair.

Junior League of the Oranges & Short Hills–The league will be promoting volunteerism to children with an essay contest.  Children are asked to write an essay addressing the question “What would you do with $100 to serve your community?”  Winners will be given the opportunity to put their ideas to work.  Learn more about this project and the League’s book “the Littlest Volunteer” at the fair.

Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative–Creating winter hats, scarves, afghans & gloves for the homeless & working poor, since December 2011.  Bring your unused yarn to donate to this group that knits for a cause!

Durand-Hedden House & Garden–“Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us” is the n ame of an upcoming event at Maplewood’s historic house museum.  In that spirit, Durand-Hedden will be collecting gently used shoes for Soles4Souls which collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.

Horizon Lower School in Livingston—run by the Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey, this school serves students ages 3-13 with multiple disabilities from throughout New Jersey.  Children and adult volunteers are invited to create personalized books for Horizon students with pictures.  The pre-printed books and materials will be supplied.

New Eyes for the Needy–Drop off used glasses at their headquarters 549 Millburn Avenue, Short Hills, NJ 07078.

Learn more about these local organizations at the Volunteer Fair:

Interfaith Hospitality Network–provides emergency shelter for families year round; helps families work toward self-suffiency; and helps families find and sustain permanent homes.  Learn how to volunteer for this vital effort in Essex County.

ELKS of South Orange–Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans. Learn what your local ELKS are doing for our community!

EIES of New Jersey–Located in South Orange, this organization is a radio reader service for the blind and visually impaired.

Maplewood First Aid Squad–The Maplewood First Aid Squad has served the community since 1973. It is a non-profit organization whose volunteer members provide free emergency medical services to the citizens of and visitors to Maplewood, NJ.

Maplewood Civic Association

South Mountain Peace Action

This organization works for peaceful alternatives to war and to change our national priorities to reduce excessive military spending and increase resources for human needs and the environment.

Achieve Foundation–The Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood raises funds to promote exemplary public education for all students and educators in our community.

Essex County CASA–Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers to advocate on behalf of foster children in Essex County.


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