Home Essex CountyBloomfield April 2021 Volunteer Opportunities in Essex County

April 2021 Volunteer Opportunities in Essex County

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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Spring has sprung which means more time outdoors and into the community. With the pandemic still underway, many in the community need various services, support, and fellowship. While community service efforts may look a little different still, ways to support are not lacking. We rounded up volunteer opportunities in the area that everyone can support for the month of April and beyond. 

April 6th: Upper Montclair Earth Keepers {474 Upper Mountain Avenue, Montclair}

Spring has officially sprung and the environment around the community needs beautification. The Earth Keepers of Upper Montclair need volunteers on the first Tuesday of April to help with various gardening projects. A full list of protocols is available on the site. 20 volunteers total are needed.

April 6th: Urgent Blood Drive St. Mary’s Church Knights of Columbus {150 Chestnut Street, Nutley}

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on low rates of volunteers willing to donate blood. This has caused an urgent need in many communities for blood donors. The St. Mary’s Church Knights of Columbus is hosting an urgent blood drive to help combat this issue. Appointments are preferred to help with social distance protocol. Make an appointment here. 

April 16-18: St. Cassian Cougar Challenge Virtual 5K + Kids Fun Run {Bloomfield, NJ}

Cassian Cougar Challenge

St. Cassian School is hosting a virtual 5K run fundraiser this year. The pandemic brought on a variety of obstacles for school systems with financial support being one. This fundraiser will allow St. Cassian School to continue in its mission to maximize each student’s potential and prepare them for the future. The race can be completed from anywhere and results can be viewed online. 

Read More: Toni’s Kitchen: Giving Back to the Montclair Community One Meal at a Time

On-Going Opportunities

Animal Fostering at Pound Animal Welfare Society

Fostering a pet could save the animal’s life. PAWS in Montclair is consistently looking for loving foster parents to provide a safe environment for cats until they find a forever home. Fostering allows for a less stressful environment than a shelter and also starts the socialization process with humans earlier. 

Big Brother Big Sister Essex {500 Broad Street, Newark}

Serving Hudson, Essex, and Union Counties, this chapter of Big Brother Big Sister is looking for volunteers who are ready to make a positive impact on the lives of “littles” in the community. With a time commitment of just about 4 hours per month, a world of difference can be made for the students involved in the program. ‘Bigs’ are asked to engage with ‘littles’ through age-appropriate activities and conversation that will showcase more of what the world has to offer.

Covenant House New Jersey {330 Washington Street, Newark}

For anyone interested in working with young people and have lots of skills to offer, Covenant House needs support. Direct service volunteers can lead workshops and courses such as yoga, meditation, music, fitness, job readiness, parenting, and more. Volunteers must commit to at least 6 months of consistent service to help foster a stable environment for those benefiting from the services.

First Seventh-Day Adventist Church Soup Kitchen {15 Elmwood Avenue, Montclair}

Every Sunday from 12:00-2:30 the soup kitchen at the First Seventh-Day Adventist Church is available to those in need in the community. Join as a volunteer to this ministry that has been in and of service for over a decade. Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve food. 

House of Love Soup Kitchen/ Pantry {589-95 Central Avenue, Newark}

Completely run by volunteers, the House of Love Soup Kitchen serves about 30 persons every Tuesday for two hours. In addition to a hot nutritious meal, guests receive spiritual guidance, connection to resources of other non-profits in the area, and ‘care packages’ of perishable and non-perishable goods.

Human Needs Food Pantry {9 Label Street, Montclair}

Human Needs Food Pantry

Opportunities to give back to the community are always available here. As a necessary component to the operation of the food pantry, volunteers are needed to do tasks from packaging fruits and vegetables to sorting donated clothes. For those who would like to interact with the community, the opportunity to deliver food to home-bound clients is available. 

Isaiah House {239 N Munn Avenue, East Orange}

Since 1988 Isaiah House has been a force in the community working to prevent homelessness, hunger, and unemployment. Volunteers are needed daily at this organization to help with food pantry distribution, sorting of donated clothing, houseware, and electronic devices, and other areas of expertise such as yoga, meditation, public speaking, and networking.

Montclair Community Farms {108 Orange Road, Montclair}

Montclair Community Farms

{Photo credit: @montclaircommunityfarms}

The Montclair Community Farms mission is to educate and engage the community through the farm, food, and health. The community has come to love the volunteer opportunities to learn more about urban farming and help make healthy food accessible to those in the area. Opportunities to volunteer have been scarce in the past year, but on-going opportunities are beginning again soon. 

Sierra House {134 Evergreen Place, East Orange}

With just a couple of hours per month, volunteers of Sierra House are able to make a huge impact on the overall community. The mission of this non-profit is to support the homeless, youth with developmental disabilities, and low to moderate individuals and families. Volunteers are needed for educational programs, gardening projects, and more. Every 4th Friday of the month volunteers are invited to cook and serve meals to guests. Learn more about this volunteer opportunity here.

St. John’s Soup Kitchen {22 Mulberry Street, Newark}

Volunteers are the heartbeat of this soup kitchen. Without the generous support of individuals that come daily, St. John’s Soup Kitchen would not be possible. Starting at age 16, anyone interested can prepare and serve food to guests of the kitchen. Learn more about this volunteer opportunity here.

Teen Volunteer Opportunities at the Montclair Public Library {50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair}

Montclair Public Library

{Photo credit: @montclairpubliclibrary}

During the pandemic volunteer opportunities have been difficult to come by especially for teens in search of projects to fulfill school requirements or to simply have something to do after school hours. The Montclair Public Library saw this concern and created new opportunities. For those looking for virtual volunteer opportunities, sign up to be a Reading Buddy from now until May. For those comfortable with in-person volunteering, opportunities to be involved with the Summer Reading Program are now available. 

Toni’s Kitchen {73 South Fullerton Street, Montclair}

tonis kitchen montclair

Serving food to the community is a daily on-going effort. Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair is available for this support. However, they can stay in operation with the support of on-going volunteers. Those high school age and up are eligible to help with serving food to guests. Opportunities are available for individuals and groups daily. 

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