Interfaith Overall health and Guidance Companies Board of Administrators Vice President Marie Logue cuts the ribbon during the unveiling of its new ‘Ride for Health’ van with guidance from Causeway Relatives of Dealerships’ Joe Stroffolino (left) and OceanFirst Foundation’s Stephanie Toal on Aug. 3. (Photo by David Biggy)
For 22 years, Interfaith Health and fitness and Support Products and services has been serving Southern Ocean County seniors in various techniques, from pet therapy and in-household haircuts to grocery shopping support and visitations. Now, because of the acquisition of a new, 11-passenger van, Interfaith can insert yet a further service to its checklist of solutions.
With the unveiling of the van at a ribbon-chopping ceremony at Interfaith’s office environment on Nautilus Drive in Stafford Township came the introduction of “Ride for Health and fitness,” a newly created transportation services as an growth of the presently well-known health care transportation company.
“We were at a board retreat 1 day previous calendar year, and I was asked to talk about some issues I saw when serving our clientele,” Director Kathleen Cheeseman reported next the ribbon cutting on Aug. 3. “I mentioned, ‘I see consumers who are lonely, depressed and in will need of companionship, and most of them want transportation to get to senior centers for systems.’ So, we brainstormed and came up with the thought to try out and get a van.”
Due to the fact funding currently is stretched to its limitations in serving its 465 consumers, most of whom are 80 or older and never travel, Interfaith researched a number of grants to assist fund the acquisition of a big passenger van. The OceanFirst Basis delivered, as did the Causeway Spouse and children of Dealerships, which chosen Interfaith as a motor vehicle recipient as a result of its “CauseWheels” donation method.
“After 22 a long time, we truly feel this is an vital new chapter in our record, and it wouldn’t have been achievable without having OceanFirst Basis and the Causeway Relatives of Dealerships contributing their methods for this van,” claimed Interfaith Board of Directors Vice President Marie Logue, who experienced the honor of snipping the ribbon held by Causeway’s Joe Stroffolino and OceanFirst Foundation’s Stephanie Toal.
Causeway Family members of Dealerships’ Joe Stroffolino (left) and OceanFirst Foundation’s Stephanie Toal exhibit off the magnetic indication for the new Interfaith Health and Guidance Providers ‘Ride for Health’ van on Aug. 3. (Photograph by David Biggy)
“We have been so pleased they could assistance us. Our neighbors at OceanFirst and Causeway saw the want for our seniors and definitely stepped up. We couldn’t be happier. This van will give us the possibility to provide far more seniors at 1 time. It not only will assist us transport them to their appointments but also to numerous of the great courses available at seniors facilities, specially in Stafford and Small Egg Harbor.”
For a long time, Interfaith has used its transportation volunteers – once numbered at 125 right before the coronavirus pandemic struck – to choose up and bring seniors to their clinical appointments in their possess automobiles. Cheeseman explained that will go on, but the new van will be effective in bringing teams of seniors to frequently attended services, this kind of as Wellness Village on Route 72. Jack Grundy will be the van’s driver.
“It will increase a ton, due to the fact in addition to having some worry off our current pool of volunteers for transporting our purchasers, it will give some of our clientele a time to socialize when they are transported to their appointments. Additionally, we sometimes have to have to make deliveries of massive health-related provides to other nonprofits that are aiding a senior in its group and this van will double as a delivery truck for some of people things.”
Of program, the COVID-19 pandemic now restricts how numerous seniors can hop aboard the Ride for Health and fitness van at a provided time, but when individuals restrictions are lifted the van must get a great deal of use.
“The designs for this van have progressed since final November, just due to the fact of the environment we’re residing in now,” Cheeseman explained. “But once the senior facilities start out opening up and finding their plans back to ordinary, this definitely will be an awesome asset for a large amount of men and women, because that was one of the applications for it, to give a bunch of seniors a chance at socializing with every single other, which is a little something that is desperately desired for several of them.”
Interfaith Well being and Assistance Products and services also continues to work its whole array of courses, which are totally free for client use. And, sure, Interfaith usually is looking for new volunteers, specifically persons 50 and young.
“We constantly need volunteers,” Logue stated. “We need to have persons to shop, visit with seniors, make reassurance phone calls and carry them to appointments. We have a lot of wonderful individuals serving to us now, but the need to have retains increasing and that signifies the need for a lot more volunteers retains rising.”
— David Biggy