Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience provides volunteer opportunities for local teens

Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience  (WAYVE) is a new program that provides youth in Westfield and surrounding communities with quality volunteer opportunities. This program is made possible through a generous $42,000 grant from the Westfield Foundation to Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.

Janet Sarkos, Westfield Foundation Board President says, “At the Westfield Foundation, we are constantly looking to fund new, local initiatives that enrich the lives of people in our community. WAYVE is a program that fits our mission and of which we are excited to be a part of.”

The mission of WAYVE is to match agencies and individuals in need of volunteers with enthusiastic teens and young adults looking to enrich their lives through volunteerism. “WAYVE will introduce teens to new skills, enhance life experiences and provide useful knowledge as they embark on college and a future career,” says Mr. Beck, executive director of Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.

WAYVE was established to engage Westfield teens and generate excitement towards helping others through volunteerism. The program has a variety of focus areas allowing teens to get involved with something they are passionate about or explore a possible career path. There are opportunities in social service advocacy, tutoring, nutrition and food pantry, peer volunteer leadership, and a Teen Foundation Board. This new teen board will be reviewing grants and allocating funds to local agencies while grooming the next generation of philanthropists.

Pictured (l to r): Westfield Foundation Executive Director Betsy Chance, trustee Ray Kostyack, and President Janet Sarkos; Jewish Family Services of Central NJ members Jill Dispenza, Vicki Simpson, Executive Director Tom Beck; and Westfield Foundation trustees Shelley Brindle and Mark Swingle.

Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects. In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted more than $6,400,000 to various organizations.

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ is a non-sectarian health and social service agency with a history of over 100 years of providing a vast array of personalized services to 7,000 individuals a year in Union County.

If you are a teen, young adult or local agency who wants to get involved with WAYVE and enjoy a rewarding volunteer experience, please contact Jill Dispenza, jdispenza@jfscentralnj.org, Vicki Simpson, vsimpson@jfscentralnj.org or call 908-666-7033.

Foundation Announces New Executive Board and 3Q Grant Recipients.

Westfield- Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects. In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted more than $6,400,000 to various organizations.

In the third quarter of 2017, the Foundation distributed $93,262 in grants to multiple organizations in the 3Q of 2017. Grants for this quarter included the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, HomeFirst, Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey and Youth and Family Counseling Services of NJ. Funds will be used support rising talent performances in area schools, upgrades to a client computer lab, and establishing a Youth Volunteer Experience Program.

The Foundation’s new executive board for 2017-18. Pictured (l to r): Robert Gorelick, Janet Sarkos, Claudia Andreski and Gerard Abbattista.

The Foundation is also pleased to announce the new executive board for 2017-18: Janet Sarkos, President; Robert Gorelick, Vice-president; Gerard Abbattista, Treasurer and Claudia Andreski, Secretary.

In addition to supporting the capital projects of established social service agencies in the community, the Westfield Foundation has also been an important resource of ‘seed money’ for smaller organizations and emerging needs.

Money to support the Foundation’s grants has been and continues to be provided by concerned and caring Westfield residents. For more information about the Westfield Foundation grant or donor opportunities, please contact Betsy Chance, Executive Director at 908-233-9787.

Westfield Foundation Announces End of Year Update

foundation logoIn 2013, the Westfield Foundation distributed over $261,000 in grants to thirty-eight different agencies, among them:  the Westfield Community Band, Youth and Family Counseling, the Cerebral Palsy League, Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, and Furniture Assist. 

Grants from the Foundation help individuals and agencies launch promising civic projects so they can become sustainable agencies that meet a specific community need.  Imagine Inc., a center for coping with loss, is a past recipient of a $15,000 start up grant and is now on track to serve twenty families and sixty children dealing with loss due to the death of a parent or sibling.

In the fourth quarter, the Foundation distributed over $23,000 to five organizations. Grants were earmarked for such items as a large screen interactive computer, orchestral performances in the Westfield area, and funds for day care, after school care and scholarships for children to attend summer camp.  Recipients included the Cerebral Palsy League, Union County College Foundation, the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, Family Promise and the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. 

Currently the Foundation manages 114 funds totaling over $14.8 million.  Income from the Foundation’s unrestricted funds enabled the Foundation to distribute grants to such agencies as the Westfield Y to improve handicapped accessibility, computer upgrades to Jewish Family services for their nursing staff, Children’s Specialized Hospital for rehabilitation technology equipment and the New Jersey Festival Orchestra to support their concert series.

During 2014, the Board of Trustees will seek projects that advance new initiatives and will have a substantial impact on the community. The Foundation’s priority will be capital projects and providing seed money to support new programs while continuing to provide smaller grants that assist existing agencies on an annual basis.  Meetings with various agencies that have previously received grants from the Foundation are planned for the New Year in the hope to promote future grants that will have an enduring legacy for the community.

The Foundation holds only one annual fundraising per year.  If you wish to donate to the Foundation’s current annual appeal, donations can be sent directly to: Westfield Foundation, PO Box 2295, Westfield, NJ 07091.  

If you have questions about making a donation or are interested in creating a ‘family legacy’ which would benefit the community for years to come, please contact Betsy Chance, Executive Director, by phone at 908-233-9787 or by email to foundation@westfieldnj.com.

Foundation Announces 3rd Qtr. Grant Recipients

Westfield – The Westfield Foundation met in September to distribute over $25,000 in grants to 5 programs and projects.  These grants will help to fund rehabilitation technology equipment, upgrade security to an emergency shelter, fund a visiting author program and purchase medical equipment for low-income clients.

This quarter’s recipients include: Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, YWCA of Eastern Union County, Children’s Specialized Hospital, JCC of Central NJ and SAGE Eldercare.  While the Westfield Foundation supports established social service agencies, it has also become an important resource for new and smaller organizations and emerging needs.  In the past, the Foundation has provided start up funds for now well-established programs such as the annual WHS Graduation BASH, the WHS Ice Hockey and crew teams, emergency funds of $10,000 to the Westfield Food Pantry in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and $1,000 to an Eagle Scout determined to build a Korean War Memorial.

The Foundation’s work continues today, because of the support from Westfield and surrounding communities.  The Foundation relies solely on donations from the community.

In December, the Foundation launches their annual fundraising campaign.  Please consider making an investment in Westfield and supporting the good works of the Foundation by making a tax-deductible donation.  These donations allow the Foundation to keep thriving and giving back directly to Westfield.