The city of Montclair has developed a great community over the years. Opportunities to engage with culture, music, well-being activities, the environment, and more. Montclair is also filled with non-profit organizations that are working to ensure everyone in the community can feel included and a part of the greatness. This work cannot be done without the support of volunteers. Whether it’s giving back monetarily, with time, or with skills, there are over a dozen opportunities to give back in the community. Read on to find out more on how to support these Montclair organizations.
Aging in Montclair | Online
Since its founding in 2015, Aging in Montclair (AIM) has been the proud voice of older residents of the Montclair area. Its programs support and educate its 600+ members and provide the social connections that are so important as we age. Membership is free, and AIM invites all residents age 55 and older to join. Contributions will help AIM shape solutions to meet the needs and concerns of our community. Learn more about AIM here.
Human Needs Food Pantry | 9 Label Street
The COVID-19 pandemic brought on the highest rates of hunger in the United States ever. In New Jersey alone, over 1.1 million people are food insecure. The Human Needs Pantry has been able to add over 1,000 additional homes to service during this time of need. Through the help of generous donors and volunteers’ residents in need in Montclair and neighboring Essex County towns are able to pick up food or have a home delivery grocery service. Close to 3,000 groceries are donated weekly through the area. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Jazz House Kids | 347 Bloomfield Avenue
Founder Melissa Walker was prepped to be a lawyer before opportunities in music kept showing up all around her. She attributes her ability to follow her heart and be a jazz artist to great mentors in her life. Now, through Jazz House Kids, Melissa is providing students the opportunities she had by mentoring them. Jazz House Kids combines music, mentoring, education, and leadership to help serve students in the community who may face a financial gap to being involved with music. Her program opens opportunities to learn and grow with music. Support from donors is needed to keep her “little wishes” going. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Junior League of Montclair-Newark | 40 South Fullerton Avenue
The true lifeline behind any organization, non-profit, or association is the volunteers. The Junior League of Montclair-Newark works to help develop and cultivate volunteerism amongst women in the community. The group of volunteers that are formed through this organization promote education, health, wellness, literacy, and arts for children. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Kids Helping Kids | 229 Midland Avenue
The name of this non-profit is really all that needs to be known to understand the scope of the work. Kids Helping Kids engages middle and high school students in service projects that directly support underserved kids in the area. Since its inception, over 65,000 students have benefitted from this partnership across 139 schools through the help of over 5,200 volunteers. Learn more here on how to get involved.
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Kids in Cleats
While this organization houses its roots here in New Jersey, its effects are felt globally. Over 46% of children living in the African country of Cameroon live below the poverty line, living with HIV/AIDS, and/ or experiencing malnutrition. Kids in Cleats was created by Julio Tasse, a native of Cameroon who was able to overcome the odds of success through the sport of soccer. He now uses his talents and love for the sport as a vehicle to help children rise out of the current situation. Proper soccer fields, community centers, and coaching staff are provided to help break the cycle of poverty. Support is needed locally and internationally. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris | 33 South Fullerton Avenue
Mental health is often highly stigmatized in society and the media. The Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris is working to reverse this stigma and provide support to those living with mental illness as well as the caregivers. Through advocacy, education, prevention, early intervention, treatment, and services, the organization is working to achieve its mission. Case management services, suicide prevention work, and housing opportunities are just a small sample of the community work of this organization. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Montclair Fund for Women | 41 Watchung Plaza
Originally known as the Young Colored Women’s Christian Association, this organization was founded by African American women who came to Montclair in search of education, employment, and opportunity. As time passed, the organization not only changed its name, it joined forces with women of all backgrounds and became a prominent force in the community. Since its inception, the Montclair Fund for Women has given over $800,000 in grants to provide opportunities to women. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Montclair History Center
(Photo credit: @montclairhistorycenter)
The Montclair History Center is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the preservation, study, and appreciation of local history. It was originally founded in 1965 to save the Israel Crane House, a Federal Revival-style landmark home built by a local entrepreneur in 1796. The MHC educates the community on local history and its importance through programs, advocacy, and exhibits. It shares the stories of the various persons and groups that have and continue to shape Montclair. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation | 228 Bloomfield Avenue
Recreation, community, and education are essential to childhood development. Through various programs, the Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation is able to provide a positive environment for children in the community. The year-long program, Project Oasis, is broken up into two seasons and focuses on closing the achievement gap amongst African American youth. These services are only made possible by the support of volunteers, mentors, and donors. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Montclair Township Animal Shelter
Montclair Township Animal Shelter cares for and adopts out homeless animals in Montclair with the support of Montclair township and the Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (FOMTAS). FOMTAS is all volunteer-run and all of the money raised supports the animals at the shelter. The shelter was responsible for almost 1,000 animals in 2021 and Friends of The Montclair Animal Shelter (FOMTAS) paid for much of their care. It also raised money and paid for a renovation of the shelter to benefit the animals. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Pound Animal Welfare Society | PAWS
Hundreds of animals need adoption across the state of New Jersey. For over 41 years, the Pound Animal Welfare Society has been helping place homeless animals. PAWS does not have a facility to house animals in need, but the support of generous volunteers makes the work possible. In addition to fostering animals, supplies are needed. Learn more here on how to get involved.
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The Montclair Inn | 27 Hillside Avenue
Affordable housing for senior citizens that includes food, mobility access, wifi, and more can be difficult to secure. For some time, the Montclair Shared Housing Association is providing this opportunity while fostering a great community. All residents have access to a private bedroom, kitchen appliances, semi-private bedroom, three meals a day, laundry facility, wifi, and community space. While residents do have a monthly rental fee, services and amenities are made possible in large part by donors. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Toni’s Kitchen | 73 S Fullerton Avenue
Toni’s Kitchen, an organization that has provided the community in need with food resources, shifted its response to accommodate those rising numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toni’s Kitchen now provides 20,000 meals every week which is an increase of 4,300 pounds per week since 2019. Because of the support of generous donors and volunteers, 800+ families are no longer worrying about the next meal. Learn more here on how to get involved.
Van Vleck House + Gardens The Montclair Foundation | 21 Van Vleck Street
Similar to many of Montclair’s residents of today, the founders of Van Vleck House came to the area to move away from the hustle of New York City. Since 1868 the Van Vleck House has provided a beautiful garden refuge. Over the last two and a half decades the board of management has overseen the hard work and support of volunteers that keep up with the house and gardens. The gardens are open 365 days a year for meetings, retreats, fundraisers, and more. Learn more here on how to get involved.