Check out the Volunteer Directory and pictures from our 2023 Volunteer Fair!
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
[email protected], 908-899-1279
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, please contact Program Coordinator Amy Forman at [email protected].
Achieve is always seeking committee members and volunteers to help with annual programs such as Maker Madness -- the hands-on maker fair at CHS in April, as well as fundraisers like the annual Newstead 5K race in September and Nights of 100 Dinners in March. To learn more about these and other opportunities to get involved with Achieve, please contact Executive Director Eileen Neri at [email protected].
Barnabas Health Hospice
80 Main St, Suite 300, West Orange, NJ 07052
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Essex County promotes the welfare of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment by providing a safety net of support, advocacy and mentorship. CASA trains and supervises volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court, to ensure that each child has the opportunity to thrive by receiving needed services and assistance while helping to move the child toward a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.
Contact information: Jess Earl, (973)622-4836, [email protected]
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.
P.O. Box 315
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Email: [email protected]
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
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 [email protected].
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
[email protected], (973) 763 1905
First Friends of NJ
Ken Boccinio, [email protected]
Friends of South Orange Library
Estrella Sainburg, [email protected]
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, East Orange and West Orange NJ, with dignity and respect. We provide supplemental and emergency food on Wednesday from 9am-noon (except the first Wednesday of each month when the food pantry is closed). Our weekly distributions include shelf-stable groceries, fresh produce, toiletries, menstrual care products, diapers and cleaning supplies. We currently serve over 550 clients and their families each pantry day. The IFPO is an all-volunteer, collaborative effort of four religious congregations in Short Hills and South Orange, New Jersey- Christ Church in Short Hills, Congregation eth El, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun and Temple Sharey Tefili-Israel--and assisted by many other dedicated individuals from a wide variety of other organizations and nearby communities.
On Monday mornings, we need a team of volunteers working to pack boxes of shelf-stable food; this is done assembly line-style inside our warehouse and distribution center in Orange. We distribute food to clients on Wednesday mornings. We assemble an outdoor crew which serves the walk-up and drive-through client stations. Volunteers are also needed to unload delivery trucks and move cases of food into the warehouse. Many distribution-day jobs require continual lifting.
All volunteers must be at least 14 years old and provide proof of Covid vaccination. To learn more or to volunteer, Email: [email protected]
Website: www.orangesfoodpantry.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithFoodPantryOfTheOranges/ Instagram: https//www.instagram.com/orangesfoodpantry/
Inter Faith Hospitality Network
Angie Benedict, [email protected], (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
Maplewood Green Team
Maplewood South Orange League of Women Voters
Michelle Bobrow, [email protected]
The Maplewood Strollers is a non-profit community theater company that was established in 1932. We are in our 87th season and are always looking for volunteers for all aspects of putting on a production, from helping build sets and costumes and running lights or sound, to helping usher and manning the concessions table, and many other tasks.
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: [email protected]
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.
Metro Y of the Oranges/South Mountain Y Branch
The South Mountain YMCA is looking for dedicated volunteers to help with aftercare, special events, and in our Early Learning Child Care Center. To get involved, contact Tommy Donaldson, Director of Social Responsibility at [email protected] or 973-762-4145 ext 118
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.
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, [email protected]; www.morrishabitat.org
Contact Carol Manning for the volunteer/Carpenter Club (973) 891-1934, email [email protected].
Established for over 35 years, the OLS Food Pantry is an entirely volunteer-led effort. Donations of food and funds and our volunteer team come from the Parish and our local community: individuals, neighborhood associations, houses of worship, businesses, and service and non-profit organizations. OLS is a member of the MEND (Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity) network of food pantries.
The Pantry is distributes food to those in need on the 2nd and 4th Saturday morning of each month, and it serves individuals and families throughout Essex County. For each distribution, 100-150 patrons are provided one large bag of food and supplies as a supplemental enhancement to their food security.
For each distribution, the process starts on Wednesday, with a pick up of fresh produce in Millburn, followed by a packing session on Thursday. On Friday, there’s a bagel pick up at Goldberg’s in Millburn, and breads from Whole Foods and Panera when the stores close. More bagels are picked up at Sonny's in SO on Saturday mornings. Portioning the fresh breads and produce happens early on Saturday at Pantry, and distribution of the food to patrons follows. Volunteer opportunities are on our Sign Up Genius page: http://bit.ly/OLSPANTRY.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.
Founded in October 2009, Rent Party is a live music series based in Maplewood, NJ. 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 South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden raises about 2,000 of fresh produce each season for the pantries we support. Interested volunteers should email us at [email protected].
For more information on ways to help, go to http://rentpartylive.com/wp/
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: [email protected] or call (973) 558-0863.
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, [email protected]. Website: www.jfsmetrowest.org/RSVP
Sandy Hook Promise
SOMA Action Network
Lillian Hawkins - [email protected]
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: [email protected]
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), [email protected], (201) 213-6123
SOMA School Friends Library
[email protected], 917-701-8192
South Mountain Conservancy (South Mountain Reservation)
SMC is a volunteer - driven, 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 [email protected], 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
The Springfield Avenue Partnership is the district management of the Springfield Avenue. The Partnership was created by a small group of neighborhood citizens who wanted to revitalize the main shopping corridor in their neighborhood. It has since grown to becomenon-profit corporationgoverned by a board of trustees comprised of business and property owners, local residents and municipal officials.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ
Lorraine Marino, [email protected]
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