The People:

Lynette Whiteman, Executive Director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey, is known throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties for her tireless work to end senior isolation in our community.

Every single week over 1000 volunteers helps Caregivers to provide services to over 2200 senior citizens in Ocean County.  Its help allows seniors to stay healthy and continue living independently for as long as possible.

The Idea:

Caregiver Volunteer’s remarkable work came to our attention through word of mouth—and the fact is that their work is done with a relatively small budget and a simple Excel database.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation recognizes that Toms River needs to be a senior friendly community – one that values seniors input, their health and their quality of life.  Caregivers is the natural organization to help achieve this goal.

The Impact:

We worked with Lynette, the Executive Team and the Board after they completed their Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT).  The CCAT showed that without addressing the need for a full governance review and a highly functional volunteer and fundraising database, their goal of helping all 40,000 isolated seniors would not be reached.

The Foundation worked with Lynette to find the right consultant to work with in order to review the organization’s governance with the view of creating a fundraising board.

Caregivers also received from the Foundation financial help to bring in a Salesforce consultant to create a highly functional design which also included training for all staff.

The Check In:  

Lynette’s turning point with the governance review was when Tara said to her, “Imagine having 14 of you, working towards the same goal.  You’ll get there faster!”  Now they are achieving the impossible.

For the first time in the agency’s history, they have 100% Board participation in their 3 annual events and have instituted new committees and policies that have created a highly empowered Board of Directors.  In early 2016, they asked and received a $500K grant from the Hovnanian Foundation to expand their great work into Monmouth County.

The Promise:

Lynette is a true partner of the Foundation. We reach out to one another when we are stumped on an issue, and can feel confident of a frank and honest reply with an offer of help, whenever possible.  When Caregiver Volunteers needed a new location, we introduced Lynette to RWJBarnabas’s Community Medical Center.  Caregiver Volunteers are now situated on its campus, in the center of healthcare services for Ocean County.

Lynette brought the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NJ Health Initiative’s Culture of Health RFP to our attention and was instrumental in our success as we were awarded a $200,000 grant in May 2016.  Lynette has stepped forward to be the Chair of Senior Isolation as well as participate on the Boundary Spanning Leadership team for the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition.