Non-profit organizations making a difference in our community

Local ways to make an impact and give back

By Jessica Kline, Publisher + Editor Macaroni Kid Clifton-Montclair November 23, 2021

If you are looking to give back, below are all local businesses that I have come across with empowering missions. Sometimes during this time of year, or any time of year for that matter, we get caught up in things that we need for ourselves, our friends, and family, and we forget to give back. I wanted to make it convenient for you to take a look at some of the inspiring organizations truly making a difference in our community.

City Green - City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization, based in Clifton, New Jersey working to revitalize urban areas through agriculture and educational programming. It offers practical, technical and financial resources in support of environmental stewardship, equitable access to healthy food, and ecologically sustainable communities.

The Institute for Anti-Racist Education - as former teachers, our Executive Team is uniquely positioned to help districts and educators begin dismantling oppressive practices in order to ensure that every child receives a fair and equal education.

Isaiah House - provides shelter, nourishment, and support to Essex County's most fragile families and individuals since 1988.

KinderSmile Foundation - to support a future where every child has access to a dentist and preventable dental diseases are eradicated. 

MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) Montclair - a local, faith-based organization dedicated to providing basic and essential services to Montclair’s most vulnerable homeless adults and families. MESH partners with local churches, synagogues, and other community members to provide a nutritious evening meal, 6 days a week, to needy adults and families in Montclair, NJ and the surrounding areas. MESH also provides overnight respite at local churches and synagogues during extreme weather.

Northeast Earth Coalition - supports the work of community and environmental activists who give hope for a better future. They believe that a strong local food system contributes to the health of our entire community, and we will work to facilitate a greater understanding of the social, economic, & environmental impacts of our food choices.

Paterson Habitat for Humanity - helps families build a place to call home.  We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.

Saint Peters Haven - The services we provide at St. Peter’s Haven focus on supplemental food assistance, transitional housing, and casework services, all of which allow our families to maintain a sense of normalcy and empowerment while they work to overcome difficult times and circumstances. We assist in getting families back on their feet by working in cooperation with other social services to assure the families receive all the benefits available to them, including veteran benefits, housing, and food subsidies, cash assistance and many others provide supplemental food to those in our community experiencing hunger. At our shelter, we provide short term housing for homeless and at-risk families. Most stays are approximately 90 days and serve to keep families off the street as they get back on their feet and seek a more permanent residency.

Toni's Kitchen - a food ministry of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, NJ. We envision a community where everyone has reliable access to healthy food. Toni's Kitchen provides food to our neighbors in need in ways that respect their dignity, improve health, and foster independence. In normal non-Covid times, Toni's Kitchen averages 4,300 meals per week. During Covid-19, we are up to more than 20,000 meals per week!

This guide will be updated on an ongoing basis. To stay in the know of all things local, subscribe to Macaroni Kid Clifton-Montclair's FREE weekly e-newsletter here.