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Seabrook Residents Fill Care Packages With Love For Asbury Park Non-Profit

Annual Service Project Aimed at Reaching Out to Help Friends in Local Community

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, some residents at The Gardens at Seabrook (the community’s continuing care neighborhood) wanted to continue a tradition of reaching out to a very special organization by touching its clients through care packages with “love and prayer.”

For four years now, each February, the residents at The Gardens have created care packages for clients from The Center in Asbury Park – a volunteer-based not-for-profit service organization that provides support services for people in Monmouth County living with HIV/AIDS, and their caregivers. 

This year, the residents are assembling 100 gifts that include Valentine’s Day candies, lip balm, tissues, pens and an inspirational prayer.

“Our residents gain tremendous satisfaction from knowing that they are providing some comfort for others,” said The Gardens Chaplain Lynn Harper “This is one of the many programs and services that not only help others, but help our residents because they know that they are making a difference.”

Seabrook Director Art Sparks said, “The entire Seabrook community is full of caring individuals who are mindful about their friends and neighbors. This annual event is a prime example of a commitment towards reaching a group that we have forged a relationship with to help make them smile this holiday.” 

“One of the ways we live out our mission here at Seabrook is by partnering with others, which puts hands on our goal of sharing our gifts in order that others may celebrate life,” said David Bowman, Seabrook Pastoral Ministries Manager. “The care packages that they create let them share their friendship towards their neighbors which is priceless, and we are certain that the clients of The Center, who receive them, will be touched knowing that they have others who care.”

The Seabrook faith-based communities, consisting of the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities, are also collecting food and hygiene products for clients of The Center, which will be distributed in conjunction with the care packages.

The Center in Asbury Park offers its clients and volunteers a safe haven in order to instill a sense of community and stability in their lives. The Center fulfills its mission by providing housing programs, nutrition programs, referral services, transportation services and education. The Center fulfills its mission by providing:

• Housing Programs:  Center House, a permanent residence to 25 individuals living with HIV/AIDS; Emergency placement for homeless individuals; Rental and Utility subsidies to prevent homelessness.

• Nutrition Programs:  Emergency Food and Nutrition pantry; Meals to Go, frozen home-cooked meals; a daily lunch program; Monthly Sunday dinners.

• Referral Services; empowering clients by providing connection to other service providers and programs.

 • Transportation Services: Provide transportation for medical and other needs.

• Education:  Lecture and forums for clients, staff and volunteers.

At Seabrook there are a total of more than 500 active volunteers.  Last year, resident volunteers worked thousands of hours spending time doing a tremendous amount of work for a variety of groups, including the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean counties, the Tinton Falls Library, Monmouth Medical Center, Jersey Shore Medical Center, Meals on Wheels, Monmouth Museum, Mahala F. Atchison School in Tinton Falls, Visiting Nurse Association, Red Cross, United Way and the New Jersey Special Olympics.

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