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The giving community

Seabrook humanitarians help bridge gap between those in need

Created date

February 26th, 2013

From Superstorm Sandy to the annual Turkey Trot and countless events in between, the generous neighbors at Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., have stepped up time and time again to help those in need. A group of 12 residents lead this charge. Seabrook for Bridges, an offshoot of the local philanthropic organization Bridges at the Shore, taps into the community s resources to provide aid to people in need. Once a month, Bridges at the Shore volunteers take a caravan of cars to towns in Monmouth County and distribute clothing, blankets, bagged meals, toiletries, and conversation to those in need.

Feeding a need

Seabrook for Bridges began by making sandwiches for the hungry. In 2011, the group volunteered its time to assemble 100 turkey and cheese sandwiches and place them in paper bags with an apple, bag of chips, bottled water, and a handwritten note of encouragement. I became involved when I realized there are a lot of people who needed a supper and went without one, says Beverly Hausker, Bridges for Seabrook co-chair, who helped develop the program. This is a program that receives no help from the government and is simply people helping people. Seabrook for Bridges has made approximately 250 sandwiches and assembled them in lunch bags for Bridges at the Shore.

Bags of comfort

Most recently, Seabrook for Bridges collected more than 170 plastic zip bags filled with toiletry items for those affected by Superstorm Sandy, in October. They organized a grassroots collection drive at the campus, where, for ten days, they encouraged neighbors and staff to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, small bottles of shampoo, deodorant, and other items. As neighbors helping neighbors, Seabrook residents reached out to provide personal necessities for Sandy s area victims, Beverly says. This project is a great example of the wonderful volunteer spirit at Seabrook, says Executive Director Art Sparks. The area that we live in has a strong heart for the needy, including the hungry, and I think that our residents are passionate about helping wherever and whenever they can.

Tons of turkeys

Residents volunteer in various ways Seabrook for Bridges is just one of many philanthropic activities at Seabrook. The community s annual turkey trot has collected a total of more than 4,000 turkeys since its inception to benefit families through various organizations, like the Bradley Food Pantry and Interfaith Neighbors. This past November, they collected 400 turkeys. Last year, residents volunteered thousands of hours to help others. Volunteers have helped the following organizations, among others: FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Tinton Falls Library Monmouth Medical Center Jersey Shore Medical Center Meals on Wheels Monmouth Museum Mahala F. Atchison School, in Tinton Falls ARC of Monmouth Interfaith Neighbors The Bradley Food Pantry Visiting Nurse Association Red Cross United Way New Jersey Special Olympics Clean Ocean Action