Since 1991, CVCJ has grown from eight congregations to over sixty congregations and organizations. CVCJ has also grown in numbers of volunteers and carereceivers; there has been growth in the number of events which take place each year. Most of all, CVCJ continues to grow in the amount of love and caring that’s shown throughout our entire program and community.
CVCJ is born.
Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) was founded by Jack and Barbara Devlin who brought the idea to Toms River in the fall of 1991. The Devlins were very impressed with the experience they had with Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers of Shepherdstown who helped Barbara’s father in West Virginia. After a visit to the National Federation in Kingston, New York, an increased enthusiasm generated Jack and Barbara’s visit to Monsignor Casimir Ladzinski of St. Joseph Church, Toms River, New Jersey where Jack was a member. Msgr. Ladzinski shared the Federation’s video with Sandra Bell, the Catholic Charities advisor for his newly developed Helping the Elderly and Lonely (HEAL) Program with a similar agenda.
CVCJ has a home!
The Caregiver office was opened on January 4, 1993, in space generously provided by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Steering Committee Formed
The Devlins, with Sandy were then invited to present the concept to the Clergy Association in March of 1992, and from that gathering a first meeting of interested congregations was set. A steering committee was formed, and in April 1992, eight interfaith congregations became the founding members. A mission statement was adopted.
Articles of Incorporation drafted.
A first draft of articles of incorporation was presented in July 1992.
In August 1992 the name of Caregivers of Toms River was chosen.
First Director named.
In November 1992 Sandra Bell was chosen as the Director of Caregivers of Toms River.
CaregiverKids is born.
In 1998 CaregiverKids, our inter-generational program was initiated. Young people from various congregations and the community reached out and provided yard work clean up service in the fall and spring.
Second office opens.
In 1999 a satellite Caregiver office was opened in Whiting, New Jersey, where there is a high concentration of senior citizens and the need is great. Seven congregations in the Whiting area have joined our interfaith family.
Name changes to reflect growth.
In 2000, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to change the name of Caregivers of Toms River to Cargivers of Central Ocean County (CCOC). This name change was caused by growth in CCOC service area.
Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program is born.
In 2002, Caregivers of Central Ocean County partnered with Caregivers of Lakewood, the Alzheimer’s Association and Visiting Home Care of Ocean County to develop the Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program. This program recruits and trains respite care teams who reach out to families dealing with Alzheimer’s and provides supportive service to both the Alzheimer’s patient and the family caregiver.
Multicultural Outreach Program created.
In 2003, The Multicultural Outreach Program was developed. The mission of this program is to enhance the visibility and accessibility of available services, programs and benefits for senior citizens of diverse cultures.
CVCJ grows even bigger and gets a new name.
In January 2004, Caregivers of Central Ocean County and Caregivers of Lakewood merged to become one entity. The name became Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) – A Faith in Action Program.
Caregiver Canines® Pet Therapy Program is born.
In 2009, The Caregiver Canines® Pet Therapy Program was developed. These Caregiver Canines and their handlers bring unconditional love, companionship and comfort to the elderly. In 2015, Caregiver Canines® formed a strategic partnership with the National Volunteer Caregiving Network to license this program to nonprofits nationwide.
Freehold office opens.
In 2016, after many years of receiving frequent requests for help from the elderly and their adult children who live in Monmouth County, CVCJ opened an office in Freehold, NJ to serve those living in Monmouth County. The Monmouth County community welcomed this expansion and appreciates the additional support our free services will provide.
CVCJ wins the Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services Award.
Each year, the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center recognizes innovative and exemplary respite services from across the country. Each respite service met a stringent set of selection criteria and all have outstanding programs that address the needs of family caregivers of children, adults or older adult family members. By recognizing exceptional respite services, ARCH hopes to encourage the expansion and replication of quality respite to meet the growing need. To read more about the application and selection process, and details about each program, visit the ARCH website at archrespite.org/innovative-and-exemplary-respite.