By JENNIFER AMATO
NORTH BRUNSWICK – Every morning shortly after 6 a.m., Jonathan Flanders wakes up and takes a 3 mile jog on Route 1 in North Brunswick.
And every morning, he brings back bags full of litter and recyclables he collects along the way. By the end of the week, he has five pails of recyclables waiting for collection at his house.
“North Brunswick, I feel privileged to live here,” Flanders said after being presented with a proclamation by the North Brunswick Township Council on May 1.
“My husband Jonathan runs every morning, rain or shine. He used to bring back a couple bottles or a piece of trash. For about a year, he has been going out with bags, and returns with full bags of trash and recycling. He runs about six routes,” his wife Carolyn said.
One morning, Principal Pete Clark stopped Jonathan Flanders in the parking lot of North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS), and then sent him a certificate in the mail to thank him.
Clark said that NBTHS assigns students to walk the areas around the school from 8 to 10 a.m. each Saturday as a consequence for being late to school or other school violations.
“As I saw the gentlemen running with garbage in a bag, I stopped him to ask if I could throw it away for him. Then, as he spoke to me that he does this on a regular basis, he told me that his children attend school at NBTHS so I felt this was important to let him know that this small gesture on his part truly has a major impact on our school cleanliness,” Clark said.
One of the mottos at NBTHS is “Doing the Right Thing” and the school celebrates this with a certificate of appreciation called “You Made a Difference.”
Thus, the school has recognized those from outside the NBTHS community who exemplify the mission of the school, such as student athletes from Monroe and Metuchen who did the right thing at swim meet, or a track runner from Nutley High School who helped a competing runner who had injured himself by carrying him across the finish line, Clark said.
“The point being, there are so many positive acts that take place that people are not looking for recognition but are doing it because they are good people. We at NBTHS feel that we want to recognize them for making a difference in North Brunswick or outside of the North Brunswick community,” Clark said.
Contact Jennifer Amato at email@example.com.