“I think CVCJ may be one of the best things God ever created,” said Jean Robertson. “I can’t say enough about how great this organization is. The Volunteers and Receivers are great. The girls in the office are great,” and Jean has contributed to it all for over eighteen years.
Jean has spent more than half of her 82 years volunteering and making life better for people in need. Through her work with Friendly Visitors, Deborah Heart & Lung Center, AARP, and of course, CVCJ, she has touched lives in every corner of New Jersey.
And it wasn’t a personal incident or experience that inspired Jean to become a serial volunteer. Her compassion and selflessness are encoded in her DNA and rooted in her life philosophy. “I believe you’re not really living unless you’re giving,” she said. “I would much rather give than receive but when I have needed help, I’ve never had to worry about where it would come from. The people I’ve assisted want to give back too. It’s something we all share in common.”
Jean is a natural leader and has taken on formal, established leadership roles, or created her own when none were in place. With CVCJ, Jean not only fulfills her commitments as a caregiver, but also tells everyone she meets, and we mean everyone, about who we are and what we do. Her enthusiasm brings in new volunteers and encourages those who need our services to sign up for comfort and convenience.
Jean especially likes to talk about Caregiver Canines®. She has seen how powerful canine visits are in raising the spirits of Care Receivers and how meaningful they can be for families. “My mother had dementia and moved into assisted living. I couldn’t communicate with her at that point, but once a month, a woman and her dog would visit the center and Mom would go crazy. She loved dogs and it must have brought back good memories of the dogs we had through the years. These visits were really special for me because it was great to see her so happy.”
Jean left us with a final thought, “The point of us being here and living a decent life is to help each other. I’ve seen the growth of CVCJ, and the things we do are such a necessity. People are living longer and the need is growing.” Jean believes CVCJ is a gift from above, and we’re sure the people she’s helped believe she is too.