Annual Service Project Aimed at Reaching Out to Help Friends in Local Community
TINTON FALLS, NJ - With Valentine's Day around the corner, some residents at Renaissance Gardens at Seabrook (the assisted living and skilled nursing neighborhood at Seabrook) wanted to continue a tradition of reaching out to a very special organization by touching its clients through care packages with "love and prayer."
For three years now, each February, the residents at Renaissance Gardens at Seabrook have created these care packages of love for those who utilize services offered by The Center in Asbury Park - a volunteer-based not-for-profit service organization that provides support services for people in Monmouth county living with HIV/AIDS, and their caregivers.
This year, the residents are assembling 100 gifts that include a candy hearts, hot cocoa packets, pens, pads, rice crispy treats, lip balm and an inspirational note that reads: "We made this special care package just for you with love & prayer. Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at Renaissance Gardens at Seabrook Village."
The project is part of the Pastoral Ministries' Winter Spirituality Series, and is a service project for the residents who live in Renaissance Gardens and Seabrook's independent community.
Seabrook Executive Director Art Sparks said, "We are a population of caring individuals who are mindful about those within the local community, and the care package event is a prime example of our commitment toward reaching out to the public. Our residents gain tremendous satisfaction from knowing that they are providing some comfort for others."
"We wanted to bring the residents of Renaissance Gardens and the independent living community together to work on a project that would give them the opportunity to be active, engaged and enable them the chance to share their love of society," said Renaissance Gardens at Seabrook Chaplain Lynn Harper. "The care packages that they create let them share their friendship towards their neighbors which is priceless, and we are certain that the clients of The Center who receive them will be touched knowing that they have others who care."
In the first sixth months of 2011, The Center's services included:
- Over 7,000 volunteer hours made things happen
- Over 983 hygiene bags were given out
- $65,000 was spent to help with rent and security
- $2,000 helped folks with emergency pharmaceutical help
- Over $12,000 was spent to help with utility bills
- Over 5,000 Frozen Meals to go were provided were provided
- Over 4,000 hot lunches were served.
The Seabrook faith-based communities, consisting of the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities, are also collecting food and hygiene products for clients of The Center, which will be distributed in conjunction with the care packages.
The Center in Asbury Park offers its clients and volunteers a safe haven in order to instill a sense of community and stability in their lives. The Center fulfills its mission by providing housing programs, nutrition programs, referral services, transportation services and education.
At Seabrook there are a total of more than 500 active volunteers. Last year, resident volunteers worked thousands of hours spending time doing a tremendous amount of work for a variety of groups, including the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean counties, the Tinton Falls Library, Monmouth Medical Center, Jersey Shore Medical Center, Meals on Wheels, Monmouth Museum, Mahala F. Atchison School in Tinton Falls, Visiting Nurse Association, Red Cross, United Way and the New Jersey Special Olympics.
More than 1,400 people live at Seabrook, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle. Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment. Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. For more information, visit www.ericksonliving.com.