MILLBURN, NJ — Proving that little hands can make a big difference, more than 150 children and their parents, along with 50 members of the Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills took part in the fifth annual “Kids for Kids,” which is a children’s volunteer event organized by JLOSH in partnership with 10 area organizations.
Together, they collected more than 100 new children’s books for St. Barnabas’ pediatric patients; 120 dental kits and backpacks for Interfaith Hospitality Network; 150 toiletry bags and stuffed animal care packs for Family Assistance Resource Center; 300 student kits with water bottles and other school supplies for Orange Elementary School; and many boxes of food donations for the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges. On top of that, several no-sew blankets for FARC were also assembled.
The volunteer event took place at the George Bauer Community Center in Taylor Park in Millburn on Saturday, March 4. In addition to the collection and assembly of various bags, children were able to decorate “You Matter” journals for The Bridge and nutritional placemats for food pantry customers, learn about dental hygiene, nutrition basics and more. Attendees also participated in a photo booth that captured explanations on why volunteering is important and how it made them feel.
“Kids for Kids is one of my favorite Junior League events of the year! All three parts of the Junior League mission come together in this one event,” JLOSH President Christina Connant of Short Hills said. “We promote voluntarism to our youth, develop the potential of women through the whole planning process and improve the community via the hands on service projects that happen that day.”
The event also included the annual JLOSH Littlest Volunteers contest for children in grades one through five living in the towns of East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Orange, Short Hills, Springfield, South Orange and West Orange. To further promote volunteerism, JLOSH asks the youth: “How would you improve the community with $100?” Winner Simon Simpson, age 6, was awarded a prize of $100 to buy supplies to paint a conference room for refugees at International Rescue Committee.
Photos Courtesy of Allison Smith