Volunteer Organizations

Check out the Volunteer Directory and pictures from our 2023 Volunteer Fair!

Volunteer Directory 2023

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, please contact Program Coordinator Amy Forman at aforman@somsd.k12.nj.us

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 director@achievefoundation.org


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, jearl@casaessex.org

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

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

Founders Park Conservancy
website: FoundersParkConservancy.org
email: foundersparkcon@gmail.com
It is fifty years since the old South Orange Cemetery was converted to the memorial park we now know as Founders Park. For the past several years, neighbors have volunteered time and talent toward preserving and beautifying the park, and in 2018 formed the Founders Park Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  We meet monthly, host events, garden, clean, and lately, advocate on behalf of the park in the midst of major development in the neighborhood. We welcome all volunteers to help maintain the gardens and work to keep the park beautiful.  Membership dues, for those interested in having voice in governance, are $25.00/year.  All Conservancy activities are free of charge for all.

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, 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: IFPOranges@gmail.com
Website: www.orangesfoodpantry.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithFoodPantryOfTheOranges/
Instagram: https//www.instagram.com/orangesfoodpantry/

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

The Maplewood Strollers
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: 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

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 tdonaldson@metroymcas.org 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, stephanie.sayki@morrishabitat.orgwww.morrishabitat.org 
Contact Carol Manning for the volunteer/Carpenter Club (973) 891-1934, email cdminsan@msn.com.

Morrow Memorial Preschool
Adopt-A-Class, Adopt-A-Grandparent Program 
600 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood
Morrow Memorial Preschool is looking for Grandparents -no actual grandkids required!Our Adopt a Grandparent- Adopt a Class program is looking for volunteers. The goal is to match a Senior with each of our nine preschool classes, which include 2.5-6 year old students. Each “Class Grandparent” can visit the their class as often as they like and really get to know each child. “Grandparents” are encouraged to bring any of their passions or skills into the classroom to share; such as art, music, books, cooking, gardening, etc. In return, we promise our little ones will energize and light up your day.  Contact: Cynthia Hicks, Director, chicks@morrowpreschool.org or (973) 763-5460.  
The Food Pantry at Our Lady of Sorrows, South Orange
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.

Rent Party
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 garden@rentpartylive.com.

For more information on ways to help, 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: SOMA2towns@gmail.com 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, sgrove@jfsmetrowest.org.  Website: www.jfsmetrowest.org/RSVP 

Sandy Hook Promise

Schools That Can Newark
Contact for Executive Director: esweeney@schoolsthatcan.org, 973-262-3123
Website: www.schoolsthatcan.org
Schools That Can (STC) Newark reimagines education through real-world learning that closes the opportunity and skills gap. Working with roughly 40 Newark district, charter, and independent K-12 schools annually, STC Newark provides a variety of programs that support getting students hands-on, real-world learning opportunities that help students prepare for post-secondary career and life success. 
We are always looking for volunteers to serve as mock interviewers, review resumes, be guest speakers, support CTE academies, and more. We also are always looking for employers to serve as hosts for one-day externships and/or longer-term internships as well as support CTE academies and other initiatives. If you are interested in volunteering as an individual and/or to register your company/organization for our employer bank, please complete this volunteer form.

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 - 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 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

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, 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
Email: yoec@yoec.org

Phone: 973-507-6096