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Trenton, NJ

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Jacque Howard's Trenton 365 is a community building program that advocates for and endorses private citizens, nonprofit groups and businesses in the greater Trenton area. 

Lifestyle By Amans Brindled

2015 MLK Day of Service - Social Clean Up

Jacque Howard

MLK Day of Service Event “MLK Day Social Cleanup”

Have a look at the press release distributed to media outlets within Trenton NJ and the Region.

Monday January 19th, 2015

On the National Holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., several local organizations, residents and supporters of Trenton will gather for a non-traditional day of service.

At Columbus Park located on Hamilton Ave in the Chambersburg section, Trenton Going Global, CARETRENTON, Bethany House of Hospitality the Center for Faith Justice and Trenton 365 will partner for this one day/rain or shine event.

At this gathering to cleanup the park and surrounding areas of litter and light debris, several attendees will read passages of the historic “I have a dream” speech by the slain civil rights leader.  In addition spoken word artists will have the chance to perform original works in the context of Dr. King’s work and literature will be distributed to the community regarding social programs and services.

Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to participate, please dress appropriately including proper footwear and gloves.

Donations of supplies and water are welcome.  Non-perishable food will be collected and donated to the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County.

This event will be documented via video and photograph to be shared through various networks to encourage non-traditional efforts to honor the work of Dr. King.

Approximately 100 people of various ethnicity's, ages, cultures, communities and states came together for the annual event coordinated by Trenton Going Global, CARETRENTON, Bethany House of Hospitality and Trenton 365.

Will Foskey of Trenton Going Global documented this event in 2014 and shortly thereafter during debriefing conversations, Foskey of Trenton NJ thought the event could be larger and have a broader message.  Later that year he organized a meeting with original coordinators Elissa Horan of CARETRENTON, and Jacque Howard of Trenton 365.  Kimby Heil who helped to coordinates volunteers during the 2014 event from the Lawrenceville NJ based, Center for Faith Justice and Keianna Childs of Trenton Going Global met and the 2015 foundation was laid.

Elissa Horan a Trenton NJ resident for over 45 years, started CARETRENTON as an effort to improve the community through cleanups and beautification projects.  Art Educator Elissa is the daughter of Joeseph Horan of the Horan Funeral Home.  She began this movement by cleaning not only curb and street side by her home and the former funeral home but also her neighbors.  Shortly neighbors and others joined in.  Elissa stated “this is very simple, no long meetings, politics or drama, give what you can, time and effort wise.”  CARETRENTON has coordinated dozens of events in Trenton with organizations and events like Art All Night, the Trenton St. Patricks Day Parade, SAGE Coalition and more.

Kimby Heil met Jacque Howard a few years ago and offered to coordinate volunteers for the 2014 MLK event and the friendship took off.  Heil now a resident at the Bethany House of Hospitality where Howard was the Project Manager for the rehabilitation of the former “manse” was a natural partner for this years event.  Along with other residents the 2015 event would now have a “tirage” site.

Kianna Childs, a friend of Foskey also representing Trenton Going Global although new to Horan, Howard and Hiel, brought several other groups into the effort, coordinated volunteers and handled logistics.  Her son was the lead in the promotional video for this years event.

After a brief meeting the volunteers were off picking up litter, downed branches and debris at Columbus Park.  They then traveled East on Hamilton towards Chambers St. with others groups going North on Monmouth St. towards Walnut Ave.

Literature from several organizations such as TASK-Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Crisis Ministry, Isles, CARETRENTON, Meals On Wheels Trenton/Ewing and Trenton 365 were hand delivered to residents in an effort to share about services available in both English and Spanish as well as to promote civic engagement.

Special thank you to Photographer Michael Mancuso of the Trenton Times and and Nora Muchanic of 6abc Action News of Philadelphia, The City of Trenton, Councilwomen Marge Caldwell-Wilson and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson.

Shortly footage will be produced into a segment to encourage more activities on MLK Day.