Dear Family, Friends and Supporters,
It has been nearly 1 year since the news that the Corona Virus pandemic had come into the United States. Our early response and the decision to suspend many of our programs (even before the suspensions were mandated) helped to preserve the health and safety of many of the individuals we serve as well as our dedicated staff members. Thanks to the help and support of the larger community, we have been able to quickly mobilize resources to engage in prevention activities and protocols – which has greatly enhanced our ability to reduce the risk of spread of the corona virus.
We continue to express our eternal gratitude to the many, many groups and individual who have helped to support our efforts during this time and especially those who provided much needed donations of PPE, supplies, food and other necessities.
In addition, we appreciate all volunteers, interns, field workers and service learners who have jumped onto our ZOOM virtual programming to provide fun and interesting programs for our adults. The variety and number of programs created by these volunteers was and continues to be outstanding. From art and yoga to “Cool Collections”, “hot topics” and music – our adults are enjoying the new technology and opportunities to learn. In addition many of our resident’s have created virtual programs of their own to share with the group – this has been an exciting opportunity for leadership among our residents.
Through a partnership with Somerset County, we have been able to offer weekly COVID-19 testing clinics for our employees, as well as vaccine opportunities. In addition, a partnership with quest diagnostics has allowed for COVID-19 testing of our residents. Most recently, the NJ Department of Human Services partnered with Walmart pharmacies to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to our residential program residents.
I am happy to say that as of this week, all residents that had consent for the vaccine received their first shot and the second shot will be administered in 28 days. With this good news please note that we must still maintain all of our prevention protocols including masking, social distancing, disinfecting hand washing and daily screening of our employees and the children and adults we serve. Our regulations and policies on visitation have not changed and will continue until further guidance is provided by our state partners. We appreciate your patience and ask that you continue to follow these regulations to maintain the safety of your loved ones and the many others who live and receive services alongside them.
We are hopeful that with the vaccine and continued observance of protocols a return to our normal routines and program offerings will occur in the near future. We look forward to a bit of “normalcy” and more importantly, the opportunity to see old friends and companions.
Our best wishes to you and your loved ones – we hope to see you in person) soon!
Lauren Frary, Executive Director