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Four Years Later...Look How Far We've Come!

It’s hard to believe — but this past week Summit Marches On celebrated our FOURTH Anniversary! We have come a long way from that cold January day just after the 2017 Women’s March On Washington, when four concerned Summit women gathered around a kitchen table to talk about the emergency represented by the election of Donald Trump.

Our initial goal: encourage local residents, many who had never paid much attention to politics before, to come off the sidelines and use their voices to effect change in ways that were meaningful to them and impactful to the community as a whole. We aimed to demonstrate that political activism is available to everyone: most of our efforts take no more than 15 minutes or 15 dollars.

Since then, we’ve hosted and coordinated scores of initiatives and have grown to nearly 900 members strong. While it’s nearly impossible to fully describe just how much we have accomplished together over four years, here’s what the last 365 days of MARCH>> WORK>> VOTE>> RISE has looked like:


MEMBERSHIP:


We grew by 59%, to 885 Facebook group members and 1,750 on our mailing list.

VOTER ENGAGEMENT:


21,835 voter registration and reminder to vote letters mailed to voters around the country through our partnership with Vote Forward.


10,000 voter registration and GOTV postcards mailed to Georgia residents ahead of the Senate runoff election through our partnership with Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project.


4,750 voter registration and GOTV postcards mailed to Georgia residents ahead of the runoff through our partnership with Georgia Postcard Project.


500 postcards mailed to CD-7 encouraging residents to get out and vote for Congressman Malinowski.

20,000+ low-propensity voters in Philadelphia, PA were contacted by a celebrity digital GOTV campaign featuring the frontmen of the Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff and others coordinated by SMO leadership in partnership with HeadCount.

70 volunteers organized through SMO knocked on more than 15,000 doors in key districts in Philadelphia.

PUBLIC GATHERINGS:


Hundreds of Summit residents honored the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at our candlelight vigil, marking the first time the Mourner’s Kaddish was recited on Summit’s Village Green, a significant milestone considering the prior year’s anti-semitic graffiti at a Summit public school building.


Dozens of community members joined together for an outdoor screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble followed by a panel discussion.


CHARITABLE AND SUPPORT INITIATIVES:

150 food-insecure Summit families received bags of “April Groceries” during our annual support of the Junior League’s food drive. An additional $2,500 was contributed to this effort.

55 vulnerable families were matched with neighbors who provided a weekly bag of groceries through SMO’s Adopt-a-Family during the first few months of the pandemic.

$17,000 was poured into USPS via stamp purchases as a result of our various letter and postcard writing efforts.

650 Say Their Names signs were distributed in response to the George Floyd murder and other police brutality deaths. Together with our partner Summit Area Indivisible, we raised $5,500 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund through the sale of these signs.

$1,000 was raised to defend the Senate from the RBG t-shirt illustrated by local artist, Yolanda Fundora.

PRESS RECOGNITION:


Summit Marches On earned press at least 5 times. The organization was spotlighted by Sign-up Genius and received news coverage in TAP, Patch, NJ.com, and NJ-12 News.


13,500 likes for the tweet from the Village Green’s Impeach Trump rally held in December 2019.


SPIN-OFFS AND COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS: Our advocacy work resulted in the creation of a few local efforts to aid our community away from the political space.


Eleven months ago, SHIELD of Summit (Society Helping our Infirm and ELDerly) launched what was thought would be a very temporary effort to help our most vulnerable seniors stay safe during the pandemic. Recently, a shopper completed SHIELD's 225th general shopping trip, a number that doesn't include the scores of shopping trips that have been happening behind the scenes by the more than 20 volunteers who stepped up to be "paired" with a specific senior and do their weekly shopping since the end of the summer. Many of those relationships are now much more than just a shopping arrangement and have provided a needed ear during the lonely days of isolation.

$12,600 was raised for the Community Foodbank of NJ following a video campaign produced by SMO leadership highlighting how CFBNJ helped our community as the food supply chain strained the ability of our local Meals on Wheels to source meals in the initial weeks of the pandemic. We were also able to connect local charity Other Fellow First Foundation with Meals on Wheels, and they facilitated sourcing both meals from the Summit Diner as well as funding.

The Fabric Mask Assembly Line made and distributed more than 7,000 masks to frontline workers in primary care facilities, women and children in domestic violence shelters, and homeless families throughout New Jersey. More than 1,500 masks were donated right here in Summit. Our Senior Housing residents, participants in GRACE, SHIP, and C.H.A.T., volunteers at Summit EMS, and the staff at Overlook Hospital all received the gift of face protection.

Local organizations started coming to us for help when they saw the power and passion of our members, who were always willing to step up and help out by donating to or volunteering with groups in need of help. So along with the Junior League of Summit, we started a spin-off Facebook page, the Summit Volunteer Hub. The Hub now boasts 729 local volunteers who are there to connect with local organizations in need of help. It’s a win-win in a town with such generosity of spirit.

The numbers say it all. Together, we have done so much good. And there’s more to come in 2021! Already, we’ve partnered up with the Presidential Inaugural Commission’s Day of Service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and our beneficiary, The 28 Days Project, which works to help local women suffering period poverty, received more than 13,500 feminine products and $3,100 in monetary donations. And we are proud to announce the launch of our new website and blog, which we’re hoping will expand our reach and promote more engagement as our democracy begins to heal.


Together, with groups all around the country, we helped save our democracy. But the hard work has just begun. Stay tuned for our new initiatives, coming soon.


These are the days that require every single one of us to stay informed, work together, and fight for the future we know is possible. Thank you for joining us on this journey! Here’s to the road ahead.

March On,

Tracy, Lacey, Amanda, & Terri





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