Thanksgiving is the time of the year not only to give thanks for what we have, but to reach into our hearts to help those who may not be as fortunate. Here is our annual round-up of local Ridgewood and Montclair charities that are in need of not only monetary donations, but volunteers to help with their missions.
Located in Montclair’s St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Toni’s Kitchen is best known for its soup kitchen where nutritious and homemade meals are served four days a week. Anywhere from 65-85 guests are dine restaurant-style, facilitated by volunteers and staff. The program also features their Healthy Backpack Program, which provides at-risk children at home with healthy foods in a backpack weekly for them and their families.
This amazing organization based in Bloomfield provides dental care to underserved children, as well as education about the importance of dental hygiene for children and their families. Not only can dentists and dental hygienists volunteer their time, but KinderSmile offers a Community Service Learning Program for high school through graduate school students, providing hands-on learning internships.
Founded by a Ridgewood family personally affected by the disease, Advance the Cure for MS is a non-profit organization that pledges 100% of their proceeds toward funding Multiple Sclerosis research and providing assistance to people living with MS. The organization just hosted a Ridgewood-wide “Orange Out” event that raised a considerable amount of money, gave many children in the community the opportunity to volunteer, and most importantly, brought awareness to and education about the disease.
JULIEDANCE was founded as a way to honor the memory of a local Midland Park family’s daughter, Julie, who died of Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in June 1985 at the age of twelve. Inspired by her radiance, kindness of spirit, joy for life, and love of dance, JULIEDANCE symbolizes the beauty and innocence of children. As a non-profit organization, JULIEDANCE combines the talents of professional performers and dance students from Miss Patti’s School of Dance by presenting dance and music productions, which serve to both foster appreciation of and participation in performing arts, and act as fundraisers for pediatric cancer research, care, and treatment. To support this amazing charity you can attend the dance school’s annual performances of the Nutcracker at Paramus Catholic the weekend of December 7th.
From our Fuego Family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving season.