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MLK Day of Service

January 19, 2015

What is the MLK Day of Service?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

Find volunteer opportunities at MLKDay.gov.

What is the Volunteer Center doing?

The Volunteer Center will be partnering with the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services and Streetsmart Outreach in assisting homeless veterans and youth in the area. 

According to Richard Daul, director of Veterans Service, about one third of the adult homeless population are veterans.   Although perfect counts are impossible to come by—the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty—it is estimated that over 100 veterans are homeless on any given night in Bergen County, and over the course of a year, approximately twice that many can experience homelessness.

Mariel Acevedo, a counselor for the Bergen-Hudson regions of Streetsmart Outreach, says,   “We provide support and a hopeful future to homeless teens, runaways and young adults.  Community support will help improve the living conditions of those experiencing homelessness.”  Homelessness is on the rise with youth and runaways reaching more than 200 in 2014.  Mental health issues, substance abuse, and lack of family and social support networks have all contribute to a 6% rise in homelessness.

Donations of backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags, toiletry kits (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, comb/brush, razor, shaving cream, feminine products, small bag to hold items and a set of towels), wind up flashlights, can openers, zip lock bags, small first aid kits, socks, undergarments for men and women, sweatshirts, flannel shirts, thermal tops and bottoms in all sizes to extra large, winter boots, gloves, hats and coats, bottled water, pop-top foods like fruit, soup, stew, etc.,  individual snack packs of granola bars, nuts, raisins, etc., bus tickets and gift cards to Walmart, Shop Rite, McDonald’s, Subway,  and Pizza Hut are needed.

Donors can drop off these items at the Volunteer Center’s offices, 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack, during the week of January 12 to 16, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with evening hours till 7:00 pm on Thursday January 15.


Call 201-489-9454 for more information.  Monetary donations that will be used to obtain needed items for the homeless veterans can be made by visiting www.bergenvolunteers.org and clicking on MLK Day of Service.

 





 

Volunteer Center of Bergen County, Inc. | 64 Passaic Street | Hackensack, NJ 07601 | 201-489-9454 | www.bergenvolunteers.org

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The Volunteer Center of Bergen County was founded by the Junior League of Bergen County in 1966.

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