Foundation Grants $250K to YWCA Union County and announces 3Q 2020 grants

Westfield – The Westfield Foundation recently granted $250,000 to the YWCA Union County, who is celebrating their centennial year, for the construction of their new building in Elizabeth, which will function as a central hub for all programs.  The building is in close proximity to the Union County Prosecutor and the Courthouse Offices.  The grant was distributed from the Bertha Bogaert fund, a legacy fund established in 2016. 

Pictured: The groundbreaking of the YWCA Union County occurred on September 23, 2020. (l to r): Darielle Walsh (Westfield Foundation Board member), Betsy Chance (Executive Director at the Westfield Foundation), Janice Lillien (CEO, YWCA Union County Board of Directors), Jennifer Vriens (Dir. of Development of the YWCA Union County), and Tina Earley (President, YWCA Union County Board of Directors).

For 45 years, the Westfield Foundation has provided funding support in the areas of the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects.  The Foundation has granted $7,200,000 to over one hundred local organizations in and around Westfield.

For the third quarter of 2020, the Foundation granted $73,012 from their general fund to 7 organizations.  These funds supported capital improvements such as replacement of flooring, roof and window repair.   Funds will also provide PPE for volunteers, and offer programs for the community, including career counseling, financial management and adult enrichment.  Recipients include: Caring Contact, Youth & Family Counseling Service of NJ, Our House Foundation, Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, JCC of Central NJ, CASA of Union County and the Westfield Neighborhood Council.

In addition to supporting capital projects of established social service agencies such as the YWCA Union County, the Westfield Foundation has also been and important resource of ‘seed money’ for smaller organizations and emerging needs.  Programs started with seed money include: IMAGINE, Roots & Wings, Westfield Symphony Orchestra (now the NJ Festival Orchestra), the WHS Ice Hockey team, and the WHS Rowing Club.   The Foundation also established the Foundation Park for the Westfield community.

Creating a Westfield Foundation Donor-Advised Fund is one way for your family to leaving a legacy to the Westfield community.  By creating a family fund, you make it possible to leave a permanent legacy for your philanthropic interest.  Money to support the Foundation’s mission and grant distribution has been and continues to be provided by concerned and caring citizens of Westfield.

Donate today to help others in need.  Secure donations can be made directly here:

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Betsy Chance, via email, at or by phone at (908)-233-9788.

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,, Vicki Simpson, or call 908-666-7033.