Partner Spotlight – Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey
by: Kelly Fliller
CVCJ Mission and History
Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) is an interfaith nonprofit agency with over 1,000 volunteers, led by Executive Director, Lynette Whiteman. These dedicated volunteers come from all walks of life to partner with CVCJ to make life better for the vulnerable in our community. CVCJ’s mission is to provide vital assistance to the elderly, elderly disabled, veterans, and those who care for them. Their goal is to enable individuals to remain independent and to allow them to live with dignity and joy.
CVCJ started with an idea from Jack and Barbara Devlin (now the founders) in 1991. It was officially incorporated in 1992 in Toms River. The first Caregiver office was opened on January 4, 1993, in space generously provided by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Fast forward to today and they now have offices in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Since 1993, they have impacted the lives of over 13,000 older adults, caregivers, those with dementia and veterans living in Ocean and Monmouth Counties by providing vital services with compassion.
CVCJ has added many valuable services since the beginning, including Veterans to Veterans, Multicultural Outreach, Caregiver Canines and Connection Thru Music. These programs, offered along with the dedicated volunteers, provide seniors with access to medical transportation, food shopping, respite care and friendly visits to ease loneliness.
My first event with CVCJ was the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner a few years ago. What stood out most to me was the number of people in the room. There were hundreds of volunteers across many faiths, backgrounds, careers, stages in life; and they were all there for one reason – to help others. The next thing that struck me was the interfaith service that took place before the dinner. There were so many faiths represented in that room and everyone came together and prayed, sang and worshiped as one. We felt welcomed, accepted and like what we are doing matters – because it does. To this day I am blown away by how many volunteers, who are so diverse, work together to better the lives of others without a question. It is truly amazing to see and to be a part of it. I am now a board member and am so proud to serve this mission with such wonderful people.
Celebrating 25 Years
This year, CVCJ celebrates a quarter century of compassion. For 25 years, CVCJ has been serving the elderly population and here’s something to be so proud of – it’s been 25 years without a break in that service! Today, Ocean County has one of the largest population of seniors and veterans in the entire State of New Jersey. With nearly 130,000 seniors in Ocean County and almost 98,000 in Monmouth, CVCJ will always have work to do and people to serve.
On November 17, 2018, CVCJ will celebrate all of these wonderful years of serving the seniors of our community at its 25th Anniversary Gala at the Versailles Ballroom at Ramada Hotel. All of us at the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation are so excited as Jay and Linda will be honored with the Legacy Award for all they have done for our community. The other incredible honorees are the Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation, Atlantic Physical Therapy, Msgr. Casimir Ladzinski and Msgr. Sam Sirianni. It will be an inspiring evening full of fun and celebration. For more info on how to attend or get involved, check out CVCJ 25th Anniversary Gala.
Volunteers – the Heart of the Organization
CVCJ has built up an impressive group of volunteers over the past 25 years. It’s one of the most dedicated and caring group of people I’ve seen. Maybe you’ve been feeling a calling to donate some of your time to this important cause. Do you have five hours a month? Maybe you only have five minutes a week? You can donate your time and talent in whatever way that makes you comfortable. With the variety of programs, you can pick what speaks to you. You can even help CVCJ with fundraising or by attending one of their major fundraising events throughout the year. However you choose to help, you will be making a world of difference to someone and you will feel so fulfilled.
Do you want to learn more about CVCJ’s story? Do you want to become a volunteer? Are you interested in receiving help from a caregiver? Visit CVCJ at caregivervolunteers.org to learn more and contact one of CVCJ’s wonderful staff members.