Observing increasingly divisive rhetoric throughout our broader community and witnessing the impact it was having on our children, We the People was created in 2016 to serve as a vehicle to bring our kids - from varying faiths, cultures, and backgrounds - together. By engaging with each other in service, our children not only learn of their power to make a difference in their neighborhoods and for their neighbors, but they learn about each other in the process.
The first year, we had 85 kids in 5th-8th grade from diverse backgrounds all across Bergen County participating in our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The second year, it was 200. This year we had over 400 kids participating at Bergen Community College, including over 50 Teen Leaders, thereby creating the largest day of service in the entire state!
Their collaborative efforts made 335 duffel bags and stuffed animals for children in foster care or fleeing domestic violence, 300 hygiene kits for the Bergen County Homeless Shelter, 200 blankets for the residents at New Bridge Medical Center and Project Linus, 800 dog toys for local animal shelters, 250 activity bags for pediatric cancer patients, and 100 Valentines for Vets. Most importantly, true exchange was facilitated through conversation and teamwork.
Through ever-increasing outreach and a general hunger throughout the county to plant the seeds of service and leadership in the next generation, in 2020 we will double in size again, with a goal of 1000 participants. While our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service has become our landmark event, we are always looking to partner with other organizations in order to engage children in a myriad of ways that they can improve their communities.