Grant helps organization assist seniors

Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) has been selected as one of six programs in the United States to receive a Multi-Generational Civic Engagement (MGCE) grant from the National Council on Aging.

Jackson residents Mike and Pat Scimeca, along with Lynette Whiteman, executive director of CVCJ, presented the findings of the organization.

The grant provided CVCJ with the opportunity to develop “Wisdom Works Teams,” maximizing the diverse skills of the baby boomer generation to “make a great organization better,” said Tom Endres, vice president for leadership and the MGCE initiative.

With funds from the grant and guidance from the National Council on Aging, the caregivers embarked on a transformative experience using volunteers in nontraditional ways, which includes rejuvenating its recruitment efforts and orientation for new volunteers; updating its Internet website; developing a governmental advocacy initiative; and creating a business advisory team.

“Our core mission for providing basic services to our seniors has not changed,” Whiteman said. “They include medical transportation, food shopping and friendly/pet visits to reduce social isolation.”

Whiteman said the grant that was presented to CVCJ gives the organization the opportunity to examine the way it provides services and recruits volunteers so that it can be more effective in reaching the people it is committed to serving.

CVCJ is a nonprofit interfaith agency whose mission is to assist the frail and homebound elderly with everyday tasks, enabling them to remain independent in their own homes.

All services provided are free, and more than 1,000 volunteers assist more than 2,000 senior citizens each month with transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, relief for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, reassuring telephone calls, friendly/pet visits, reading and writing.

To learn about volunteer opportunities, call Mary O. Malagiere at 732-505-2273, ext. 211, or visit the Internet website at