Junior League Brings Community Groups Together for ‘Kids Helping Kids Across Essex County’ - POSTPONED Due to Hurricane Sandy
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 • 12:16pm
Community groups are joining forces in Millburn next month for a children’s volunteering event to help youngsters in need.
‘Kids Helping Kids Across Essex County,’ organized by the Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills, Inc. (JLOSH), brings together local groups for a morning of hands-on volunteering and fun at the Millburn Free Public Library on Saturday, November 3.
Participating community groups include the Newcomers and Neighbors Club of Short Hills and Millburn, Rent Party Backpack Pals of Maplewood/South Orange, Glenwood Elementary School in Short Hills, and the Newstead Neighborhood Association (NWSTD) of South Orange, but as JLOSH President Kate Lee explained, everyone is welcome.
“We’re inviting all children’s civic groups in the area to participate in this collaborative event. We want to show that small hands can make a big difference to our community.”
The activities, suitable for children aged six to eleven years, will include:
· Assembling BackPack Bonus Bags for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey
· Sorting & organizing donated books for re-distribution to local kids in need in partnership with Glenwood Elementary School in Short Hills
· Assembling cold winter essential kits to be distributed to the Interfaith Hospitality Network and other in-need children in partnership with the Newcomers and Neighbors Club of Short Hills and Millburn
· Filling bags with weekend meals for kids in need for Rent Party BackPack Pals with support in part from the Newstead Neighborhood Association (NWSTD) of South Orange
· Decorating placemats to be distributed with Thanksgiving food baskets and other crafts
There will also be readings of JLOSH’s award-winning children’s book, The Littlest Volunteers, written by League member Danielle Speckhart.
“The Junior League has been serving our community for 100 years,” said Kate Lee, “and there is still plenty to be done. Essex County has more children enrolled in the free or reduced price school meals program than any other county in New Jersey, and when school is out on weekends many of these kids go hungry. We are proud of our partnership with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and BackPack Pals who help to provide food to these children.
“Our League also recognizes the importance of getting books into the hands of children. In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1; in low-income neighborhoods the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Used book drives, such as the one at Glenwood Elementary School, help support the work we do with book pantries and libraries in our community.
“Our ‘Kids Helping Kids’ event goes a long way to helping those children, while teaching others about the benefits of volunteering, and bringing together a host of community organizations. In our 100th year to see so many local organizations accept our call to action and begin what we hope is a meaningful dialogue around improving our communities has been inspiring."
Donations of new children’s pajamas, hats and gloves, and gently-used books for infants through tweens may be brought to the event.
‘Kids Helping Kids Across Essex County’ takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at the Millburn Free Public Library, 200 Glen Avenue, Millburn, NJ.
The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills is an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact. JLOSH provides service to East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Milburn, Orange, Short Hills, South Orange, Springfield and West Orange, and reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. To learn more about JLOSH, visit our website at www.jlosh.org or find us on Facebook.