JFS MetroWest offers a wide array of meaningful volunteer opportunities. Our volunteer staff will match your interests and talents to community needs to ensure a gratifying experience.
We have opportunities for mitzvah projects, adult volunteer opportunities, Rachel Coalition volunteer possibilities, and the RSVP Center of Essex & Hudson Counties, which is a comprehensive community service organization catering to individuals 55 and over.
There are many benefits to volunteering with JFS of MetroWest. Volunteers make new friends, learn new skills, and bring joy to many of our JFS clients. JFS also offers special recognition events as a thank you for serving.
Money Management volunteers are matched with a homebound older adult in Essex County to visit once a week in their home. Volunteers assist clients with reading mail, filing papers, and paying bills enabling seniors to live independently in their own homes. Volunteers create a budget and track expenses with the client. This program helps ensure that aging residents do not end up in nursing homes or other long term care facilities prematurely.
Volunteers must submit to a background check. The program commitment is 1 hour once a week and the schedule is flexible. Volunteers are expected to report their hours monthly through the JFSMW Volunteer Tracking system and to complete documentation each time they meet with a client and submit this documentation to the program coordinator. Documentation of the visit includes a written budget, a list any checks written out or expenses paid for the client, and a timesheet signed by the client.
For more information contact Taylor Ruszczyk at TRuszczyk@jfsmetrowest.org or 973-637-1742.
Friendly Visitors are matched with a homebound older adult to meet with in their home weekly. Volunteers provide conversation, companionship, and socialization opportunities.
Volunteers must submit to a background check. The program commitment is 1 hour once a week and the schedule of meetings is flexible. Volunteers are expected to report their hours monthly through the JFSMW Volunteer Tracking system and submit an update of the visit to the program coordinator online.
For more information contact Taylor Ruszczyk at TRuszczyk@jfsmetrowest.org or 973-637-1742.
Computer Buddies is an online pen pal program that matches students with local older adult volunteers. Volunteers and students exchange messages once a week through an online portal to hone students’ reading and writing skills, support the development of social skills, and make a lasting meaningful intergenerational connection.
To be matched with a child to write to weekly, contact Julie Cramer-Le at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-765-9050. Computer Buddies is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and only open to volunteers ages 55+.
Reading Buddies engages older adult volunteers in promoting childhood literacy in public schools. Volunteers age 55+ read to the same small group of students each week throughout the school year using a read-aloud format that supplements the school’s regular reading curriculum. Reading Buddies is a one-of-a-kind program that uses volunteers to support children grades k-2 and educators in the classroom.
Volunteers must complete a background check and are asked to commit to a full school year. The program is 1-1.5 hours once a week. Training and books are provided. Substitute reader positions are available for those who cannot commit to weekly sessions.
To participate contact Julie Cramer-Le at email@example.com or 973-765-9050. Reading Buddies is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and only open to volunteers ages 55+.
Listen to Children
The Listen to Children program pairs a warm accepting older adult volunteer with a school aged child on a one-to-one basis. The Child-Listener relationship allows a child to share conversations, joys, experiences and even concerns. Meeting with their Listener allows children to gain important cross-generational perspectives. Listener volunteers meet with a child on the same day and time weekly, usually during the student’s lunch hour or recess, during the school calendar.
The volunteer is not a tutor or therapist. The Listener volunteer lends a non-judgmental ear to individual students who benefit from the special time and attention afforded by this relationship. By encouraging students to express their feelings and identify solutions to problems, Listener volunteers help students meet the challenges of growing up in today’s world.
Listener volunteers receive a training and ongoing supervision and support. Meetings with listeners are held bi-monthly with different speakers in the community.
Volunteers must complete a background check and are asked to commit to a full school year. The program runs 45 minutes once a week. Volunteers are expected to report their hours monthly through the JFSMW Volunteer Tracking system.
To participate contact Julie Cramer-Le at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-765-9050. Listen to Children is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and only open to volunteers ages 55+.
Essex County SHIP (Medicare)
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides free help to Essex County Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance. SHIP is a statewide program administered in Essex County by JFS MetroWest and RSVP. It is funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services with financial assistance through a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare beneficiaries frequently have questions about benefits, claims, and supplement policies such as Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans. Volunteer counselors, trained in areas of health insurance coverage and benefits that affect Medicare beneficiaries, provide information and assistance for dealing with claims and in evaluating health insurance options. Counselors also help low-income Medicare beneficiaries apply for Extra Help, prescription assistance, and Low-Income Subsidy programs.
Volunteer counselors do not provide legal advice, sell, recommend, or endorse any specific insurance product, agent, insurance company, or plan. They provide information and assistance so that Medicare beneficiaries can make their own decisions. Counseling is free of charge. Counselors are assigned to easy to access community sites, such as libraries and community centers throughout the county.
SHIP Counselors must commit to a background check, a 40-hour training, and a minimum of 1 year of service. Volunteers typically serve 2-4 hours a week, but are busiest during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct 7 – Dec 15).
To volunteer contact Brittany Bynum at email@example.com or 973-637-1717. The Essex County SHIP is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and only open to volunteers ages 55+.
To receive SHIP services please contact our Helpline at (973) 637-1717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the SHIP program visit https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/services/ship/.
Provide fresh meals for our community’s most vulnerable members. Volunteers pick up freshly cooked meals in Livingston and deliver them to homebound older adults and holocaust survivors throughout Essex and Morris Counties. The meals are delivered on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each week a signup sheet is sent out via email and volunteers can sign up to deliver to the towns they chose. The program is very flexible; each week volunteers can sign up for as many or as few deliveries as they like.
Shop and Drop
Help an older adult in the community safely get their groceries. Volunteers are matched with a client to shop for weekly or every other week. Volunteers call the client directly to get the grocery list (or our staff can assist) and then go shopping. Volunteers can shop around their schedule; they just have to let the client know what time to expect them. Volunteers pay for the groceries and call the client with the total. The client will have a check waiting (in a mailbox or another safe space) to reimburse the volunteer for the groceries when they drop them off. Groceries are dropped off and checks are exchanged with no contact. If for any reason the client is unable to reimburse a volunteer or a check bounces, JFSMW will reimburse the client. Volunteers are required to send a photo of the receipt and check to coordinator of the program.
Typically clients reside in West Orange or the surrounding areas and most prefer shoppers go to Shoprite since they are familiar with the products and the prices are low.
Volunteers must complete a background check. The commitment is once a week or once every other week and the schedule is flexible.
Mitzvah Projects for adolescents
JFSMW can help create a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Volunteer Project that fits your interests. Contact Stephanie Grove at email@example.com or 973-765-9050 to discuss.
JFSMW MetroWest appreciates and prefers financial contributions so that any goods or services needed can be secured it a consistent, structured, and strategic manner to best support and/or empower the recipients. Click here to make a financial contribution.
JFSMW accept in-kind donations on a case-by-case basis; there must be a need and the ability to distribute the donations to clients as we are unable to store items. All items donated must be consistent, individually wrapped, and brand new. We do not accept donations of individual items, including furniture or household items.
We do accept donations of items for our Holiday Packages for homebound older adults. See here for examples.
For more information on any of these programs, please contact Stephanie Grove, Senior Director of Volunteer Services, at 973-637-1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read the latest RSVP newsletter
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES WITH RACHEL COALITION
Rachel Coalition, a division of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ, provides a variety of services to assist victims of domestic violence and those living in high conflict households.
JFSMW Volunteers support survivors of domestic violence through the Court Advocate and Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) programs. There are numerous volunteer opportunities including community education and awareness about domestic abuse and/or working directly with victims. For more information on Rachel Coalition volunteer opportunities, please call 973-765-9050.
The Fishman Family Court Advocate Volunteer Training Program trains volunteers to assist domestic violence victims as they await their restraining order hearings in Essex County Family Court in Newark. All volunteers must complete a 40-hour training course. For more information and to sign up, please contact email@example.com.
Domestic Violence Response Teams (DVRT)
Provide support, information and referrals at police headquarters and educate victims about their legal rights in obtaining Temporary Restraining Orders. Rachel Coalition in conjunction with the Safe House trains volunteers to assist victims when they call the police to report a domestic violence incident in Essex County. For more information and to sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pro Bono Legal Representation Program
The Rachel Coalition Pro Bono Legal Representation Program trains (family and non-family law) attorneys to represent victims in restraining order hearings. Attorneys participate in a 4 hour training, receive CLE credit, and pro bono “Madden” credit through representation. Contact 973-637-1778 for more information or click here to sign up