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There is a place where people wake up hungry in the morning and go to bed hungry at night. These people are our neighbors. The place they live is called Trenton.

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Kids for TASK Launch

The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) launched their 'Kids for TASK' program in the fall of 2012 to provide parents, grandparents, guardians and organizations such as schools, community and religious groups with a program to help kids build character while helping others. The program is taking off.

The idea for the program came from TASK volunteer, Rebecca Feder, who was looking for ways to get her young children involved with helping the community through service. “We want to instill in our kids the importance of sharing what we have with others who don’t have as much. We feel those lessons are best learned through hands-on involvement,” Rebecca explained. “We started involving the kids in shopping for non-perishables and wrapping plastic utensils at home. It grew to collecting school supplies for TASK’s back-to-school drive and our kids asked if they could help give out the backpacks. They loved meeting the other kids. After that, TASK helped us discover new ways to engage that fit our schedule and the age of our kids.”

Since launching the program, Community Park School and Princeton Jewish Center have signed on as drop-off sites for donations to TASK. Dineen Gruchacz, Principal of Community Park School explains, “Community Park is proud to contribute to TASK. Community Park values community service. We strive to teach and model being compassionate, helpful and productive citizens.” Gila Levin, Religious School Director of The Jewish Center also expressed, “The Third through Six grades at The Jewish Center are proud to be able to contribute to TASK. They recently wrapped over 600 utensils and look forward to doing more with TASK.”

“It has been surprisingly easy to make TASK activities a part of our routine during the years that are critical in shaping our kids’ values,” explained Rebecca. “It is a thrill to see the program- and impact of the program- expand to include other families and communities in the greater-Trenton area. The soup kitchen patrons clearly benefit but so do the kids.”

The Kids for TASK program suggests ways that kids can help the less-fortunate by doing activities at home like wrapping plasticware, assembling hygiene kits, collecting non-perishables, baking desserts and delivering items to TASK. Other ideas include collecting travel toiletries from hotels while vacationing, or growing a summer vegetable garden and donating the harvest. “One Kids for TASK family hosted a ‘dessert and drinks’ fundraiser and raised over $1,500,” said Dennis Micai, TASK Executive Director. “The family invited friends with a suggested minimum donation of $5 or 5 canned goods per person, kids helped bake desserts ahead of time and served food during the party. It was a great success.” Older kids looking to engage others may choose to manage a donation site at their school or other organization and periodically bring items to TASK.

Dennis articulates, “We are very grateful to the families and organizations that have supported the Kids for TASK program. We are serving more and more people, and this type of assistance is greatly appreciated.”

A growing list of suggestions can be found on our Kids for TASK section of our website as a reference for other families looking for new ideas to help the community or for kids to share work they have done. Kids for TASK launched a few initial sites with more planned for 2013 but are looking for kids in the greater Bucks and Mercer counties to get involved.

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In Plain Sight: The Story of TASK

By LEE SEGLEM, Member of TASK Board of Trustees


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