Ways to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. with the Y this January

Giving back and strengthening the places where we live, work and play can help to heal our differences through a common cause. As part of the Summit Area YMCA mission of social responsibility, we believe in reaching out to our community and working together to uplift each other. As a cause-driven, volunteer-led organization, our volunteers are advocates for a better tomorrow. We view them as shining examples of social responsibility and rely on them to pitch in and help those less fortunate.

This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and throughout January 2021, you can make a difference by participating in one of our service projects below or by signing up to become a volunteer today.



This January, the Summit Area YMCA will be hosting several service projects in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., a man whose leadership from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968 advanced civil rights for African Americans in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals. He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.* 



As an organization whose three pillars are dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Summit Area YMCA is committed to being a source of support for youth and teens and providing a platform for their voices to lead positive change in our communities. The Y will be hosting an Equality and Justice contest for teens. To participate, students are encouraged to send in a 30-60 second video sharing what equality and justice looks like to them. The Equality and Justice contest is for all teens ages 11-18. Videos can be a short speech, poem, song, or any type of creative expression!

The best video will win a gift card and be posted on the Summit YMCA website and YMCA social media accounts.

Video submissions are due by Monday January 18, 2021 and should be emailed to trevor.cromwell@thesay.org

For more information or questions regarding the Equality and Justice Contest, please contact:
Trevor Cromwell, Youth & Teen Coordinator at (908) 273-3330 ext. 1140 or email trevor.cromwell@thesay.org



Additionally, to celebrate Dr. King Jr., the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Summit YMCA and The Learning Circle YMCA will be hosting collection drives to help support our local NJ community. 

The Learning Circle YMCA: JANUARY 4-18 Collecting personal care and essential items for Newark YMCA housing residents and locals in need
Contact: Eva Salcedo-Lainez, (908) 273-7040 ext. 5255

Summit YMCA: JANUARY 11-18 Collecting winter coats and jackets for individuals in need
Contact: Trevor Cromwell, (908) 273-3330 ext. 1140

Berkeley Heights YMCA: JANUARY 17-23 Collecting art supplies for Lyons Veteran's Affairs Hospital
Contact: Tiffany Escott, (908) 464-8373


For more upcoming events, check out our Events Calendar!


About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.


*Source: The King Center, "https://thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king/"