CITY OF NEWARK AND “SCOUTING AND SCAVENGING” INITIATIVE
TO DELIVER 2,100 TOILETRY KITS TO RESIDENTS IN FOOD RELIEF PROGRAM
“Scouting and Scavenging”, Brick City Peace Collective, and “Hello Fresh” grocery program
working together to provide residents at-risk with unused toiletries from hotels and motels
Newark – June 8, 2020– “Scouting and Scavenging,” a program developed by a well-traveled Milwaukee Bucks executive, will donate 2,100 individual toiletry kits containing soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and toothbrush as well as toilet paper to the City’s food relief on Wednesday morning, June 10, 2020, at JFK Recreation Center, located at 211 West Kinney Street in the city’s Central Ward. Volunteers expected to attend include Rutgers Men’s Basketball Head Coach Steve Pikiell, Princeton Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mitch Henderson, and Seton Hall Women’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Bozzella, along with representatives from other local college basketball programs including NJIT, Rutgers-Newark, and Monmouth. This event is open to media only (Mayor Baraka is scheduled to thank volunteers at 10:30 a.m.)
“Scouting and Scavenging” is an initiative founded by Daniel Marks, the Manager of Prospect Information for the Milwaukee Bucks, which encourages players, coaches and others who travel frequently in the world of sports to collect unused hotel toiletries to pass along to people in need, thereby eliminating hotel and product waste. In Newark, the organization partnered with Brick City Peace Collective and the city’s food relief grocery program to provide these essential supplies to residents. The City has given away more than 480,000 meals since the start of the pandemic.
“Many of our residents are in need of vital toiletries during this challenging time of isolation,” Mayor Baraka said. “This partnership will fill a critical basic need for these residents during coronavirus and after. It shows the strength and unity of Newark’s caring community and its partners in a time of crisis.”
Mr. Marks came up with the program from his travels with the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s minor league team, noting that hotels often threw out shampoos and soaps from used rooms, regardless if the toiletries had been used. If he just started taking the unused items with each checkout, he could have enough to donate for those in need of such supplies.
“All you need when you check out of your hotel is just to take whatever you don’t use and put it in your suitcase,” Mr. Marks said. “A lot of it gets thrown out anyway because they assume you have used it. What you don’t use you just fit in your suitcase and you build up a collection of supplies. It doesn’t require any advance planning. Just need some extra room in your carry-on.”
Then he realized that it could be a project bigger than just that. He had friends in the G League, the NBA, and college basketball. He could ask them to do it, too. Together, they could collect a large amount before the end of the season and pile it up together.
What began with one tweet turned into a months-long initiative. When the NBA season was shut down early by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Marks pivoted, ending the collection early but knowing that people need shampoo and soap even more. Some donated locally, many others sent boxes to Marks with their stash. In addition to those donations, local hotels and a one-time fundraiser brought the total to over 12,000 items collected. Newark will receive 2,100 kits Wednesday.
After a midseason start, Mr. Marks wants to continue the effort in full force when the NBA restarts. To help and contribute, email Mr. Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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