The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation joins Americans across the country in celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We also remember his contributions on a national day of service.
Every day, the Foundation asks: What can we do together that we can’t do alone? We invite residents in northern New Jersey to achieve this by being inspired and coming together with others. Participate in the 26th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 18, 2021. By collaborating, we can also talk and learn from each other. Even more, we can share ideas, best practices, and resources.
How can you get involved that day and throughout the year? Firstly, find a service activity to participate in on January 18. Secondly, join others and learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work. Furthermore, you can continue to identify current activities advocating for racial and social justice. Thirdly, remember the needs in our communities continue beyond this day of service. Throughout the year, find your passion. Moreover, identify an area of interest and volunteer in your community.
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation also can help you find an activity, event, or volunteer opportunity. Therefore, we compiled this handy list of service activities, virtual events, and year-round volunteer opportunities.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Volunteer Training
- Welcome Home Jersey City. Virtual Volunteer Training. Monday, January 18. 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This nonprofit agency lists several volunteer opportunities they want to share with you. For example, find opportunities to tutor children or adults. They also need helping with leading online group activities or working with their job development team. In addition, volunteer positions are available to translate information and assist with administrative work.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Collection Drives
- American Legion Post 170. Coat Drive. Saturday, January 16. 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 33 West Passaic Street in Rochelle Park. The Mission Continues Newark Platoon is collecting coats, hats, and gloves, as well as scarves to donate to The New Jersey Veteran’s Network and Never Alone Again in Teaneck. What can you do? Help on the collection day! For instance, you may help gather items to be distributed to the recipient organizations. Volunteers may also help with sorting the outerwear. For additional details, visit their event’s site.
- NJ Community Development Corporation. Drive Through Food Drive. Saturday. January 16. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. Great Falls Youth Center, 52 Front Street in Paterson. This community-based organization is also holding a drive. They are collecting non-perishable food to distribute to families in need in Paterson. On Saturday, donors drive through and hand their bag or box of donated food to the organization’s volunteers. Donors may also simply open their trunk and volunteers will remove the food. Furthermore, all food collected will be either directly distributed to families in need or given to local food banks.
- Ridgecrest Senior Housing. Drive Through Food Drive for Ever Thankful Pantry. Saturday, January 16. 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 7 Ridge Road in Ridgewood. The public may help senior residents with donations of cereal, such as instant oatmeal, Cheerios, and Raisin Bran. They welcome other food: low sodium broth, rice, peanut butter, jelly, shelf milk and canned tuna or chicken, for instance. In addition, these products are needed: toilet paper, tissues, women’s pull-up briefs.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Glen Rock/Ridgewood. Monday, January 18. 10:00 a.m. The Struggle Endures. Watch The Last Sunday Sermon of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Previously, this sermon was presented on March 31, 1968 at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Log in online to participate in this virtual event.
- Center for Food Action NJ. Monday, January 18. 1:00 p.m. A Conversation with Civil Rights Icon Mrs. Theodora Smiley Lacey. The Center for Food Action’s 2021 Martin Luther King Day, Jr. Day of Virtual Day of Service Keeping the Dream Alive event airs on Facebook Live. According to the Center for Food Action, Mrs. Lacey is an American civil rights activist and educator. In addition, she helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott with Dr. King and fought for voting rights and fair housing. Furthermore, Mrs. Lacey also helped lead the effort to integrate schools in New Jersey.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Committee of Bergen County. Monday, January 18. 6:30 p.m. Watch Where Do We Go From Here?, the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, on Facebook Live.
Ongoing Volunteer Service Opportunities
- Josephine’s Place. This nonprofit organization in Elizabeth has a mission to provide space facilitating the empowerment of women. They also need volunteers to serve and fill several openings. For instance, openings include Bilingual (Spanish) GED tutors and ESL teachers. They also need Basic Computer Skills instructors.
- YWCA of Northern NJ. Saturday and Sunday, January 30 and 31. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Virtual healingSPACE Volunteer Advocate Training. Sign up to become a volunteer at Bergen County’s Sexual Violence Resource Center. The Center also lists several volunteer openings. For example, the Center needs volunteers to answer their crisis hotline, and provide crisis counseling and emotional support. They also need volunteers to help organize special events and assist with other activities.