WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Foundation has announced the creation of  a new program, Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience, that will provide youth in Westfield and surrounding communities with quality volunteer opportunities. This program is made possible through a  $42,000 grant from the Westfield Foundation to Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.  

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.

“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,”Janet Sarkos, Westfield Foundation board president, said.

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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,” said Tom Beck, executive director of Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey.

WAYVE was established to engage Westfield teens and generate excitement toward 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 and peer volunteer leadership.

A teen foundation board is also being formed. Teens on the board will  review grants and allocate funds to local agencies. The goal of the board is to groom the next generation of philanthropists.

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, NJ.

Teens, young adults and local agencies who wants to get involved with WAYVE are encouraged to contact Jill Dispenza at jdispenza@jfscentralnj.org or Vicki Simpson at vsimpson@jfscentralnj.org  or call 908-666-7033.