Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience provides volunteer opportunities for local teens

Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience  (WAYVE) is a new program that provides youth in Westfield and surrounding communities with quality volunteer opportunities. This program is made possible through a generous $42,000 grant from the Westfield Foundation to Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.

Janet Sarkos, Westfield Foundation Board President says, “At the Westfield Foundation, we are constantly looking to fund new, local initiatives that enrich the lives of people in our community. WAYVE is a program that fits our mission and of which we are excited to be a part of.”

The mission of WAYVE is to match agencies and individuals in need of volunteers with enthusiastic teens and young adults looking to enrich their lives through volunteerism. “WAYVE will introduce teens to new skills, enhance life experiences and provide useful knowledge as they embark on college and a future career,” says Mr. Beck, executive director of Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.

WAYVE was established to engage Westfield teens and generate excitement towards helping others through volunteerism. The program has a variety of focus areas allowing teens to get involved with something they are passionate about or explore a possible career path. There are opportunities in social service advocacy, tutoring, nutrition and food pantry, peer volunteer leadership, and a Teen Foundation Board. This new teen board will be reviewing grants and allocating funds to local agencies while grooming the next generation of philanthropists.

Pictured (l to r): Westfield Foundation Executive Director Betsy Chance, trustee Ray Kostyack, and President Janet Sarkos; Jewish Family Services of Central NJ members Jill Dispenza, Vicki Simpson, Executive Director Tom Beck; and Westfield Foundation trustees Shelley Brindle and Mark Swingle.

Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects. In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted more than $6,400,000 to various organizations.

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ is a non-sectarian health and social service agency with a history of over 100 years of providing a vast array of personalized services to 7,000 individuals a year in Union County.

If you are a teen, young adult or local agency who wants to get involved with WAYVE and enjoy a rewarding volunteer experience, please contact Jill Dispenza, jdispenza@jfscentralnj.org, Vicki Simpson, vsimpson@jfscentralnj.org or call 908-666-7033.