Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly is currently recruiting and training volunteers
New Jersey’s Elder Ombudsman James W. McCracken talks to seniors at a recent World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event.
The Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, which advocates for people over age 60 living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, is currently recruiting and training volunteers to be placed in nursing homes throughout the state.
“Becoming a Volunteer Advocate is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for individuals who want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of elderly citizens living in nursing homes,” said James W. McCracken, who was appointed the state’s Elder Ombudsman in 2010. “This is a high-impact volunteer position and we give our Volunteer Advocates all of the training and support they need to get the job done.”
OOIE Volunteer Advocates complement the investigative function of the Ombudsman’s Office by attempting to resolve quality of care and quality of life issues while they are visiting the facility on a regular basis. If the Volunteer Advocate cannot resolve the issue -- or if abuse, neglect or exploitation is suspected -- the volunteer will refer the issue to the Ombudsman’s office for a full investigation.
In order to become a certified volunteer and be placed in local nursing home, new recruits are asked to complete a 32-hour training program which includes intensive classroom instruction and additional on-site orientation. Trained volunteers are asked to commit to spending a minimum of four hours a week visiting residents in the facility to which they are assigned.
Anyone interested in learning more about the OOIE Volunteer Advocate Program can contact the Volunteer Advocate Program Statewide Coordinator Deirdre Mraw at 609-826-5053 or email Ms. Mraw at Deirdre.Mraw@advocate.state.nj.us.
NJ Department of Corrections Seeking Volunteers for Literacy Programs
The NJ Department of Corrections is seeking individuals and organizations to embrace the ‘Call to Service’ to assist us in strengthening our educational initiatives through prison tutoring. This meaningful volunteer opportunity is a satisfying way of giving back to your community and making a difference in someone’s life.
The average reading ability of our incarcerated population is only
at a 5th grade level. The Office of Educational Services needs
tutors to assist with our Adult Basic Education program and our Adult Secondary Education program to help improve the reading skills
of our population and prepare them to obtain a high school equivalency diploma.
Whether you decide to volunteer once a week or a couple of days per week, committing yourself to service is a major step. Your time spent as a volunteer will have a significant impact on these individuals and give them a chance to make a better life for themselves.
Volunteerism also brings great benefits to the state of New Jersey including reduction in the recidivism rate by enabling the offender to be better prepared to reenter our communities. We need any help you can offer and look forward to hearing from you.
Do not hesitate to respond to the “Call for Service” for contacting the NJ Department of Corrections - Office of Educational Services at 609- 292-4036, Extension 5324 or 5325.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno Recognizes the Importance of Volunteerism in Rebuilding
New Jersey Communities
Volunteers Honored During Ongoing National Volunteerism Month Celebration
Trenton, NJ –Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno participated in two volunteerism events in Seaside Heights and at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark to recognize individuals who have dedicated their time and efforts to rebuild New Jersey communities severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The events were part of an ongoing celebration of service during National Volunteerism Month in April.
“Although nearly 18 months have passed since the storm, it’s important to not only remember, but promote the fact that so many volunteers remain engaged in the recovery process,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “These dedicated individuals are committed to restoring the communities that were affected in New Jersey, and in doing so deserve our highest praise and gratitude. Without their efforts, many families would not yet have been able to return to their homes, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to thank them personally.”
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and volunteers from the North Carolina Baptist Men(NCBM) who worked on rebuilding a home in Seaside Heights.
To begin the day’s activities, Lt. Governor Guadagno assisted volunteers from the North Carolina Baptist Men(NCBM) as they worked on rebuilding a home in Seaside Heights. Due to the storm, the home suffered considerable damage and was infiltrated by three feet of water.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno volunteers rebuilding a home in Seaside Heights damaged by Sandy.
“We have completed 73 work requests and have 16 open jobs at this time,” said Billy Layton, who oversees NCBM’s Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts.
The NCBM is a national and international ministry dedicating to helping those in need, dating back to its first disaster response in Red Springs, North Carolina in 1984. The ensuing three decades have witnessed them assist in numerous events across the United States and throughout many other parts of the world.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno with volunteers from the North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM)
Lt. Governor Guadagno’s next stop was at NJIT, where she attended a reception honoring student volunteers who engaged in community service as part of Alternative Spring Break.
This year, more than 340 NJIT students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteered throughout Bergen County, Newark, Jersey City, and across the Jersey Shore to rebuild and restore local communities. In doing so, they assisted with a variety of tasks that included beach replenishment to renovating homes to distributing food and clothing.
“Spring Break has traditionally been a time for college students to unwind. To see so many students give up their vacations to engage in community service projects that benefit New Jersey families in need is truly commendable,” noted Lt. Governor Guadagno.“They are true role models and set a wonderful example for their peers.”
As of March 20, 2014, New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), which is responsible for logging total state volunteerism efforts, reported that 209,148 volunteers from New Jersey and across America have served 1,452,320 hours with non-profit groups since the beginning of Sandy recovery. This service, in turn, is estimated to have a total dollar value exceeding $41 million.
Those interested in seeking volunteerism opportunities in New Jersey, or who simply wish to learn more about the efforts of the Governor's Office Volunteerism, are encouraged to visit Volunteerism.NJ.gov.