Volunteering & Community Participation

 Volunteering for the Towns
Both South Orange and Maplewood rely on volunteer citizens to serve on boards, committees and programs that act in an advisory capacity to the governing bodies in both communities. Positions are continually opening, and it is important that the views, concerns and needs of older residents be represented.  If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for your town, please contact the following:  

South Orange Village Clerk’s office 
or call (973) 378-7715 ext. 1

Maplewood Community Volunteer Resource Program 
or call the Township Clerk, Elizabeth J. Fritzen, at (973) 762-8120 

Volunteer with Community Organizations

Additionally, there are local non-governmental organizations that rely heavily on volunteer efforts to provide services and support in our two towns.  To find out how to participate, contact information is provided below. 

1978 Maplewood Arts Center
1978 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, NJ 07040
1978artscenter@gmail.com, 908-899-1279

Achieve Foundation
The Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood supports educational excellence and innovation with grants to teachers and tutoring for students, among many other things.  Achieve’s hallmark tutoring program improves the academic performance of children who are struggling with their schoolwork by pairing them with trained volunteer tutors. To learn more about tutoring, visit: www.achievefoundation.org  or contact Program Coordinator Amy Forman: 973-762-5600, ext. 1847,  aforman@somsd.k12.nj.us.

Barnabas Health Hospice
80 Main St,  Suite 300,  West Orange, NJ 07052

 Columbia High School Scholarship Fund 
Columbia High School Scholarship Fund is an all-volunteer organization that raises/distributes funds to help low-income CHS grads pay for higher education.
Contact information:
P.O. Box 315
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Tel: 973-378-8228
Email: chssf@chssf.org
Website:  http://www.chssf.org/

The Community Coalition on Race
The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns and community involvement.  As a volunteer for the Coalition, your support is integral in helping them to work together toward a community that is truly inclusive and racially integrated. To sign up, visit their website at: http://www.twotowns.org

Cougar Soccer Club of Maplewood and South Orange
The Cougar Soccer Club is always in need of volunteers for various activities like Saturday morning game days, uniform handouts, picture day, Memorial Day Tournament, and more.  If you are interested in helping out, please contact Donna Mills at DonnaMillsCougarSoccerClub@gmail.com,

Durand-Hedden House & Garden
523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, NJ

English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutors
Tutors are also needed for students in all grades who speak English as their second language.  Help is needed during the school days to help ESL students review and keep up in all subjects as they master English.  To learn more, contact Katie Simpson at Columbia High School,  (973) 762-5600 or email ksimpson@somsd.k12.nj.us.

Essex County Public Health Reserve Corps
The Essex County region of the Medical Reserve Corps is seeking volunteers to respond and assist in the event of an emergency. When volunteering for the Medical Reserve Corps, your individual skills will be utilized at a level you feel comfortable with. You will only be doing tasks that you have been trained to perform before hand. What kind of volunteers are needed? Physicians, physician assistants and nurse; non-medical people; social workers/mental health; communication specialists, administrative and support staff; retired people.

If you are interested please visit the Essex County Public Health Reserve website at: www.essexregional.org or call (973) 251-2059.

Ethical Culture Society of Essex County
516 Prospect Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040
ecsec.nj@gmail.com, (973) 763 1905

First Friends of NJ
Ken Boccinio, info@firstfriendsnjny.org

Friends of South Orange Library

Estrella Sainburg, estrella@greenfaith.org

Hadassah- South Orange Maplewood Chapter

Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges
The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges (IFPO) is an all-volunteer, supplemental food pantry helping to meet essential human needs of food-insecure residents of Orange and East Orange, NJ, with dignity and respect. The IFPO is a “client choice” food pantry that provides supplemental and emergency food, diapers, feminine hygiene products and toiletries to low-income residents of Orange and East Orange, NJ. The IFPO is an all-volunteer, collaborative effort of four religious congregations in Short Hills and South Orange, New Jersey— Christ Church in Short HillsCongregation Beth ElCongregation B’nai Jeshurun, and Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel. The pantry is housed in the Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church at 105 Main Street in Orange. Volunteers are needed from 8:15am thru noon (client hours are 9-11am) on Wednesdays, except the first Wednesday of the month when the food pantry is closed. Volunteers are welcome to come for the whole time or any portion that works for their schedules. 

The IFPO's client population has grown significantly and we now routinely serve approximately 300 individuals and families per week. During the holidays, the number of people requesting assistance close to doubles.

To learn more or to volunteer, Email: IFPOranges@gmail.com
Website: www.orangesfoodpantry.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithFoodPantryOfTheOranges/

Inter Faith Hospitality Network
Angie Benedict, angie@ihnessexnj.org, (973) 746-1400
46 Park St., Montclair

Literacy Volunteers of America, Essex & Passaic Counties
Literacy Volunteers of America, Essex & Passaic Counties is looking for volunteers! They train adults to become volunteer tutors for basic literacy and ESL. Training programs are held at local libraries, including the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Memorial Library. (973) 566-6200 x 217.

Maplewood Civic Association
(862) 205-3521

Maplewood Green Team

Maplewood South Orange League of Women Voters
Michelle Bobrow, M.bobrow@verizon.net

Maplewood Senior Share
Join us on Facebook

Memorial Park Conservancy
Maplewood Memorial Park Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation, maintenance and improvement of Memorial Park. We support the policies and practices that reflect the park’s historical and cultural significance, integrity of design, recreational and environmental importance, educational opportunities and prominent sense of place. For more information on how you can help, email: info@maplewoodmemorialparkconservancy.org

MEND is an interfaith network of 19 member food pantries located throughout Essex County, NJ.  It strengthens and supports its food pantry network by providing supplemental fresh and healthy food, funds, volunteers, and a monthly forum for collaboration. MEND also advocates for policies to improve the quality of life for its patrons. Member pantries benefit from MEND’s economies of scale and support, while retaining their independence.

For more information, visit our website: www.mendnj.org  or  email info@mendnj.org

Moms Helping Moms Foundation
Moms Helping Moms Foundation is a baby supply and diaper bank serving low-income and vulnerable children 0-5 who live in New Jersey.
22 Howard Street, North Plainfield, NJ 07060.      www.momshelpingmomsfoundation.org 

Morris Habitat for Humanity
Morris Habitat for Humanity builds affordable housing for working families using volunteer labor. Sales of donations to the ReStore (staffed by volunteers) helps fund the homes we build.
Stephanie Sayki, Director of Volunteer Services, stephanie.sayki@morrishabitat.orgwww.morrishabitat.org 
Contact Carol Manning for the volunteer/Carpenter Club (973) 891-1934, email cdminsan@msn.com.

The OLS Food Pantry
The OLS food pantry serves people in need on Saturday mornings and needs volunteers each week to prepare. The weekly process starts on Wednesdays with a pick up of fresh produce in Millburn and a packing session (first week of month reserved for seniors) or Thursday (rest of weeks in the month are for any age). On Friday, we need someone to pick up bagels at Goldbergs, Millburn, and on Saturday at Sonny's in SO. Saturday mornings are distributions to the patrons. Many of the tasks involve some lifting and carrying. Volunteers can sign up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c084ca9ac2ea5fb6-sign

People for Animals
People for Animals is a low cost dog and cat spay/ clinic that provides other low cost services such as rabies and distemper vaccinations and ID chips.  People for Animals works with the both South Orange and Maplewood  to provide feral cat TNR assistance.   Volunteers are needed help at the clinic in Hillside.  Contact Valerie Wilson at 973-282-0890   ext. 222.

The Rent Party
Founded in October 2009, the Rent Party is a live music series based in Maplewood & South Orange. Proceeds from these shows help fight hunger in our community by supporting the local food pantries and the BackPack Pals Program.  BackPack Pals provides  supplemental nutritious, kid-friendly food to children who are food insecure over the weekend.

The Rent Party Garden flourishes in the full sun of the front lawn at the Elks Lodge in South Orange and provides produce for local food pantries - more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce last season! Regular volunteer hours are: Wednesdays 6:30pm: Weed, Wine, Water; Saturdays 8am: Harvest. If you'd like to volunteer, or donate any extra produce from your own garden, please contact Karen at klrutberg@aol.com.

For more information on ways to help,  email garden@rentpartylive.com or go to http://rentpartylive.com/wp/

Repair Café
Are you handy? Good at fixing things?  Join this growing international group that has volunteer repair people do their best to fix broken, beloved items, give them a new life and keep things out of the landfill.  We have 2 events per year - one in the spring and one in the fall. If you are not handy yourself, we could still use your help with publicity, making sure things run smoothly day of, bringing refreshments.... 
Email: CRowe@twp.Maplewood.NJ.US or call (973) 762-8120 x4005

The RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties, a program of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, mobilizes individuals age 55 and over to give back to their communities through volunteer service. RSVP provides a single location where volunteers can review a range of local opportunities, including reading or mentoring children, visiting homebound seniors, assisting at soup kitchens, and more. (973) 637-1766, sgrove@jfsmetrowest.org.  Website: www.jfsmetrowest.org/RSVP 

Sandy Hook Promise

SOMA Action Network
Lillian Hawkins - lillianhawkins@gmail.com

SOMA for Animals
SOMA for Animals is an animal advocacy group, dedicated to supporting animal rescue efforts on a local, state and national scale.  We provide support to Essex County animals and their caretakers, with special emphasis on those of Maplewood and South Orange, through political action and through social media, notifying residents about lost and found animals and supporting the efforts of animal rescue organizations large and small, including People for Animals and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.SOMA for Animals on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/547507072078678
Contact:  SomaforAnimals@gmail.com

SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Committee
The SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Committee consists entirely of volunteers.  The Committee meets approximately seven times a year to plan the Annual Remembrance Service and to plan events to educate youth about the Holocaust.  Each year the Service takes place in a different house of worship.  Volunteers can participate in planning, publicity, web development, liaison with clergy, liaison with local officials, development of the program brochure, youth educational activities, etc.  Be part of an event that has spanned over 40 consecutive years and has helped bring our towns together. (www.rememberandtell.org), jimferruggiaro@gmail.com, (201) 213-6123

SOMA School Friends Library
gardencamille@yahoo.com, 917-701-8192

South Mountain Conservancy (South Mountain Reservation)
SMC is a volunteer, non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation founded in March 2000.   Through volunteer activities, public programs and partnership with the Essex County Parks Department, the SMC serves as a steward and advocate for the 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation. The SMC strives to preserve, protect, and enhance the ecology, infrastructure and natural beauty of the reservation and to foster public engagement through programs such as: Trailkeepers, Chain Saw Gang, Trash Tacklers, Trail Work, Forest Regeneration, SMR Family Campout, Mayapple Trail Runs, Wildflower Sculpture Park, Citizen Science, and Bio-Blitz.
See www.somocon.org, or contact us at info@somocon.org, 844-SOMOCON, or P.O. Box 273, South Orange, NJ 07079

South Orange-Maplewood Adult School
Columbia High School , 17 Parker Avenue, Maplewood

S.O.S. - South Orange Seniors

Springfield Ave Partnership

Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ
Lorraine Marino, Lorraine.Marino@RWJBH.org

St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter
St. Hubert’s is always looking for volunteers to help staff clean, do laundry, walk dogs, socialize cats and help with community outreach efforts like free vaccine clinics in underserved communities.  Volunteers are asked to do a regular 1-2 hour shift each week, for 6 months. There are also opportunities to foster an animal.  For more information, call (973) 377-2295 or visit their website at: www.sthuberts.org 

 St. Joseph's Food Pantry

Turtle Back Zoo

Youth Net

Youth Orchestras of Essex County
973-506-YOEC (9632)