JLS Grants

JLS To Award Scholarships and Emergent Grants in 2021 

Application period will be
January 4th, 2021 - February 19th, 2021

Congratulations to our COVID-19 Emergency Grant Recpients!

The Junior League of Summit is pleased to announce that it has granted $15,000 to five local community partners to assist with growing needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The JLS recognizes that the current public health crisis has significantly impacted the community's ability to serve those most vulnerable at this time. To be eligible for the funds, each organization must be providing vital services to the community while facing severe operational challenges as a result of the pandemic. This emergency fund seeks to provide each organization with maximum discretion and flexibility in how the emergency funding is utilized.

The 2020 emergency grant recipients include:

All grant recipients must have previously received grant funds from the JLS within the last five (5) years. Each of these organizations is serving the community within the specific focus areas of the JLS: food insecurity, healthcare needs and community essentials. Congratulations to the recipients and thank you for all that you do for our community!

Congratulations to 2020's JLS Grant Recipients!

The Junior League of Summit proudly announces that it has granted more than $50,000 to local community partners and agencies. Due to the recent COVID-19 meeting restrictions, the grants were mailed to the recipients in March.  In light of the recent global pandemic, grant recipients were given permisson by the Board of Directors to use this money to cover important expenses, as necessary to their operations or to help in the COVID-19 crisis. “Year after year, the Junior League of Summit continues to give back to our community by providing financial and member support of local non profits,” says Erika Melchiorre, JLS President. “We are proud to grant over $50,000 to these deserving non profits that align with our focus areas and are making our community a better place for all.”

The 2020 grant recipients include:

  • Bridges (supplying qualifying Summit students with backpacks & school supplies for the 19-2020 school year);
  • Central Presbyterian Church (funding for a new refrigerator providing food storage for Family Promise and GRACE);
  • Christ Church, Summit (funding to supplement GRACE efforts for food insecure citizens);
  • College of Saint Elizabeth (funding will cover purchased and recovered food and packaging for student-run food recovery program and student pantry);
  • Cornerstone School (funding cooking equipment and classes; shared eating experiences in the classroom;
  • Dress for Success (supporting ME (My Essentials) bags containing personal hygiene, toiletry items, and gas cards);
  • Family Promise (funding "Healthy Kitchen Initiatives" providing food, utensils and gift cards to families graduating from shelter program and moving into new homes);
  • Good Grief (supporting food and volunteer training for families attending Nights of Support, grief counseling support groups);
  • Keys 2 Success (helping to build upon existing program providing musical co-learning programs to under-privileged children in the community);
  • Overlook Foundation (providing funding for insulin, medications, healthy food for low income pre-natal women and children);
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum (supporting educational sustainability programming through camps, and educational initiatives);
  • SAGE Eldercare (providing funding for Meals on Wheels program);
  • St. Joseph's Social Service Center (funding food insecurity program for the Greater Elizabeth area);
  • Summit Area YMCA (supporting career and college prep and counseling plus corporate mentoring as part of the Achievers Program servicing community's underserved);
  • The Summit Department of Community Programs (funding for TRYcan special needs recreation programs: build a sensory room in the new Summit rec center, including climbing wall, chairs, ball pit, and more);
  • The Summit Park Line Foundation (supporting a direct and safe option connecting Summit communities:  bike riding lessons for members of the community; safety on the path);
  • Summit Soccer Club (supporting program which provides healthy activity to GRACE community and additional children);
  • The Summit Speech School (providing fresh, healthy snacks for students and water filters for last year's refrigerator donation)
  • The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad (funding a state-mandated technological upgrade: one new laptop to be docked in a rig);
  • The Connection (supporting Pathways program that provides services for women undergoing cancer treatments


Women building better communities, that's the Junior League of Summit (JLS).  We have been the driving force behind the types of initiatives and institutions that make our community a healthier, more vital place to live.  Junior League members reflecting a wide range of backgrounds, interests, and professional pursuits work together to identify unmet needs, forge effective coalitions, and work for change.  Time and time again, the Junior League is often one of the first organizations to tackle our community's biggest challenges.

The JLS is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  With your collaboration, we continue to impact the lives of children and families in our service areas of Berkeley Heights, Chatham, New Providence, and Summit.

The League’s current initiative, GRACE (Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community's Essentials) addresses our current focus which is alleviating food insufficiency and providing community essentials within our service area.  This is an exciting initiative of which we hope you will be a part.  We have had great success over the past year with our fundraising efforts, and will therefore, be able to continue providing financial assistance to the community in the form of grants and scholarships.  This year, we will be awarding up to $50,000 in grants.  While there is no predetermined individual grant request cap, the grant fund is limited, and we will consider partial funding of projects. 

Requirements:  All Community Grant requests must meet the following criteria:

  1. Requesting organizations must provide documentation of 501(c)(3) or other tax-exempt status.
  2. We encourage the submission of applications for projects supporting food insufficiencies and providing community essentials.
  3. Organizations are limited to one grant during a fiscal year. 
  4. Funds are not available for individual scholarships or endowment funds.
  5. Funds are not available for general operating expenses (including salary, overhead, and rent) of established ongoing programs, except in instances when the ongoing program is related to supporting food insufficiencies and providing community essentials.


Criteria:  Grants awarded by the Junior League of Summit are intended to:

  1. Effect positive community change.
  2. Provide seed money for start-up programs and projects.
  3. Promote voluntarism through partnerships with local organizations and the JLS.
  4. Promote, when appropriate, collaboration among community groups.
  5. Support organizations whose volunteers include JLS members.
  6. Include a partnership opportunity for JLS volunteers to participate directly with the requesting organization to assist in implementing project(s) for which grant monies are awarded.

Special Request:  This year we are hoping to obtain key information from our community partners in an effort to identify community needs we may address for our next Junior League signature project.  At the end of the application, please find three additional questions that will help with this request.     

The deadline for all Community Grant applications has passed for 2019.  Applications for 2020 will go live in September.

Please do not hesitate to contact the JLS office with any questions at jlsummitgrants@gmail.com