JLS Grants

Congratulations to this year'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. The grants were presented to the recipients at the Junior League of Summit’s March general membership meeting on March 12, 2019.  “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 2019 grant recipients include:

  • Bridges (supplying qualifying Summit students with backpacks & school supplies for the 19-2020 school year);

  • Calvary Episcopal Church (funding the purchase of linens, standing floor lamps, toys and toiletries for Family Promise guests);

  • Court Appointed Special Advocates for Union County (funding training for 160 volunteer child advocates on “Food for Thought” nutrition advocacy);

  • Dress for Success (funding ME “My Essentials” bags containing personal hygiene products, toiletries and gas cards);

  • Family Promise (providing JLS Better Food Bags distributed at 2 Community Health Fairs - Better Food Bags contain healthy recipes, the non-perishable items to make the recipe, and a gift card to purchase the perishable items);

  • Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss (supporting the sixth Night of Support in Newark to serve an additional 60 children and adults and train 20 new volunteers in bereavement/support education);

  • Keys 2 Success (supporting 2 annual events for 15 students sponsored by El Sistema New Jersey Alliance);

  • Our House, Inc. (funding food, cooking utensils and supplies to support “Building Community Through Caring” program which enables students to learn and implement independent skills.  Students will prepare one year of granola bars for GRACE);

  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum (funding for “hands on” Square Foot Gardening Workshops for children and adults for one year.  Workshops will also promote healthy eating and nutrition);

  • SAGE Eldercare (funding for Meals on Wheels program);

  • St. Joseph Social Service Center (funding the Food Insecurity Program for Greater Elizabeth  area including sandwiches for 400 people/day, hot meals each weekend for 250 people, and bags of food monthly to registered families);

  • Summit Area YMCA (funding for the Waddler Capital Improvements including a new classroom and playground at The Learning Center );

  • Summit Community Programs (funding for the Summit Community Center Kitchen, including a new refrigerator/freezer and other appliances for GRACE, seniors and special needs);

  • Summit Speech School (funding supplements to lunches and healthier snacks to the Preschool);

  • Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, Inc. (funding Digital Radio Acquisition, a mandatory communication upgrade from analog to digital);

  • The Connection (funding Pathways Financial Assistance Fund to help uninsured women with cancer); and

  • Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship (funding business training for 25 women).


The Junior League of Summit has 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 focus 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.

Check back here around September 1st when our grant applications go live!