Westfield, NJ – The Westfield Foundation has announced it will be the first Seed Investor in Roots & Wings – Union County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the critical needs of young adults who have aged out of New Jersey’s foster care program. The $40,000 pledge from the Westfield Foundation will support a client-centered program that provides safe housing, education, professional counseling and mentoring. The Westfield Foundation has demonstrated its confidence in Roots & Wings by making a portion of the pledge a challenge grant to encourage the Westfield community and organizations to partner with the Westfield Foundation to launch this important program in Union County, where approximately 100 youth become at risk annually. Every dollar donated will be matched by the Westfield Foundation, doubling a donor’s contribution.
Youths in the foster system normally age out at 18. Their existing support system is suddenly disrupted, and they face staggering challenges. Hurdles include homelessness which can lead to human trafficking, insufficient education, few employable skills, no financial resources and no dependable relationships for guidance. Roots & Wings – Union County liaison Joe Masterson says, “We are grateful to the Westfield Foundation for assuming a leadership role to get our local program underway. Union County, like other counties throughout the state, has limited resources available to prepare or support these young adults. Our program offers qualified youth an opportunity to live independently in a safe environment while pursuing an education, working, and learning life skills essential to a stable adulthood. I encourage anyone who would like to make a donation or learn more to call me at 908.403.8621 or visit our website, www.rootsandwingsnj.org.”
The Westfield Foundation is a charitable fund supported by annual contributions, family legacy funds and estate bequests. Goals include supporting the ongoing efforts of individuals and organizations to improve the quality of life in Westfield, and also taking leadership roles in bold new initiatives like Roots & Wings to address emerging or underserved needs in the Westfield area. In 2013, the Foundation awarded over $260,000 to 38 grant applicants. Over the years a unique and popular opportunity for donor giving to the Westfield Foundation has been to establish a “legacy” fund in an individual or family’s name. The annual investment income from a legacy fund will support the Foundation’s yearly giving both immediately and in perpetuity, and is a lasting legacy of generosity for families in the Westfield community.