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How Generous Is Westfield?

A new study ranks the charitable giving of towns across the country. Find out how Westfield fared.

Westfield residents donate 2.7% of their annual income to charity. That's lower than the New Jersey average of 3.7%, according to How America Gives, a new study from The Chronicle of Philanthropy that rates each of the 28,725 zip codes in the U.S. by measuring income levels and charitable donations made by taxpayers. (The report used IRS tax record for 2008, the most recent year data was available.)

Westfield ranked 3,185 for contributions, donating $36.5 million with a median family contribution of $4,055. The median income for Westfield was $152,132.

Westfielders earning the least, in the $50,000 to $99,000 bracket, donated the greatest percentage at eight percent, while those earning between $100,000 to $199,000 contributed 3.4 percent of their income to charity. The group earning the most, $200,000 and up, donated the smallest percentage at 2 percent. 

The Westfield community recently came together to show their support for one of their own. Runners took several laps around in honor of , the victim of a hit-and-run accident. A fundraising website established to benefit the Lowenstein family more than tripled its $500 goal.

Earlier in 2012, Westfielders rallied to show their support for the owners of The family-owned and operated South Avenue West music store perished in athat claimed five other businesses. Through fundraisers and benefit concerts, more than $16,000 was donated to Bob Larsen and Liz Walsh in an effort to help the couple rebuild.  

Local businesses have also donated goods and services to families in need. Many supported the Fun Run for Alli and in May, Westfield merchants  and  cooked up a delicious way to support the family of 13-year-old Christian Panarese, born with spastic quadraplegia, in their efforts to purchase a new wheelchair. The businesses sold 300 cupcakes, prepared by pastry chef and Garwood resident Melissa Walsh. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefitted Christian's Wish. 

Union County ranked 100 out of 3,115 counties surveyed in the country with a median contribution of $2,431 per household and had total contributions for that year of $291.9 million, or 4.2 percent of resident’s total income, according to the report.

Overall, charitable donations by New Jersey residents ranked eighth in the nation in 2008 with $4.5 billion. California finished in first place and New York in second.

Among the study's other findings:

  • Utah is the most generous state, donating 10.6 percent of discretionary income.
  • New Hampshire is the stingiest, donating 2.5 percent of income.
  • People who live in politically conservative, "red states" are more generous than those in liberal or "blue states."
Toomuchtax August 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM
I would donate more but these after tax bond referendums like the one for a new turf field and school roof repairs are hampering my philanthropy. Vote no on the turf field/roof repair bond referendum.
Sally McBride August 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I would love to see what the % was for each town when you added Fed Tax+State Tax+Property Tax+Charity
Cheapskates August 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Apples and oranges. You sound like Romney.
Sally McBride August 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
never said they were the same, just said I would like to see those numbers.
K L C August 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I am in need of a car, can someone in Westfield donate one? I am part of a needy family..I am a disabled, out of work single mother
Seriously? August 28, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Whats next anti-turfer- will you blame Hurricane Issac on the Board of Ed? Will you blame the Empire State Shooting on the Pro- Bond people---enough already- you made your point- what a loser you are
Sally McBride August 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM
@Seriously. Dont bother with this guy. It is not like his comments are going to get anyone out to vote no, but he might annoy someone enough to get them out to vote yes
Resident August 28, 2012 at 08:02 PM
It comes down to people being upset to pay for a turf field along with a roof repair.
Resident August 28, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I think the best part of the article is "People who live in politically conservative, "red states" are more generous than those in liberal or "blue states.""
Dennis Driscoll August 29, 2012 at 01:29 AM
To Resident If the BoE would eliminate the lights at the High School field there would be fewer complaints.
Silly McLies August 30, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Agreed. It's those annoying people who live close to the plastic field area that are being selfish. Don't you realize that my kids need a place for me to send them until 11:00 at night? What's so wrong with 80 foot light ploes. Don't you see planes in the sky? they have lights. winky winky
Silly McLies August 30, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Agreed. Charity would be higher if taxes were lower. Why do we waste money on public safety, education, highway infrastructure, clean air, etc. when my kids can't play soccer past 8:00 at night? Daylights savings is coming and pretty soon it will be dark by 5:30. PLEASE let's get those poles up and plastic down. Are you idiots stupid? Why are we even discussing this? get rid of the wasteful spending I mention above and vote yes on for the plastic.
Sally McBride August 30, 2012 at 06:36 PM
How childish the people against the turf field, safety of our schools and the hawk light are that they keep making fake and what they try to be insulting account names to attack anyone that disagrees with them. Sad, Sad people. I am sure there will be a "follow up" post by "me" coming soon from a fake account. Just more proof how childish they are and everyone should question any topic they show interest in
Silly McLies August 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Agreed. How dare you people for having an opinion. And don't you think I know about fake accounts too? I know for a fact that many of you weren't baptized using your screen names like I was. You people opposed to that green plastic with a $3.3M pricetag and an 8 year warranty are just foolish and resentful and just don't have a clue. Why I'd be happy to have those 80 foot poles next to MY property. It's just, you see, you can't because it wasn't proposed next to MY property. Oh well. Let it be next to yours. I wish you would stop being childish and just vote yes for what I want.
Sally McBride August 30, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Just more proof on how much of a joke patch.com has become. I would warn about anyone paying to advertise on this site. To juvenile
Silly McLies August 30, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Agreed. TOO juvenile TO tell the difference between TWO people. One a satirist, the other a waittress who can dish it out, but not take it. Vote yes for 8 year shelf life plastic. Noise? So what, it's not in my neighborhood. Parking problems? See above. Home price depression? See above Getting my future D-1 8 year old athlete the field they deserve? $3.3m Snarking a snarker? Priceless
Jersey City Joe August 31, 2012 at 03:44 AM
@Silly. Excellent. I've read Sally's comments on many articles. As my dad used to say, "bully the bully and they fold". You go girl ( or guy).
Walkin Westfield September 01, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Some people say free will is being able to choose without external pressure or coercion

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