MANCHESTER – Somebody cares about seniors in the township. In fact, there is a non-profit organization that has that description in its name.
Somebody Cares Inc. helps senior residents of Whiting and does not receive any funding from any agency. It depends completely on contributions from businesses and community residents. The group’s headquarters is located at 48 Schoolhouse Road.
Executive Director Stephanie Herburger outlined some of the many services that the organization offers which includes daily wellness calls, dial-a-ride services, greeting cards donated to nursing homes, living will information, a medical equipment loaner program, money management, notary public, PAAD assistance, Senior Gold information, senior services, volunteer attorneys and welcome home dinners upon discharge from the hospital.
Herburger told The Manchester Times that “our volunteers drive Whiting residents to any location in the Whiting area and return the resident to their home when their appointment or business is completed.”
The organization’s Dial-A-Ride service is without a fee although donations contribute to vehicle maintenance. For information on this program call 732-350-2900 to make a reservation as early as 24 hours prior to a planned trip.
The medical equipment program includes wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, rollators, commodes and other items on a loaner program basis. There is no charge for pick-up or delivery.
The organization is holding a special fundraiser from 2 to 4 p.m. on September 23 at Crestwood Village II. All Whiting residents are welcome to an “Easy Listening Afternoon” featuring live music by Elaine Orzechowski. Admission is a donation of $10.
Donation receipts are available at the organization’s offices Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at the Stop & Shop lobby in Whiting on September 16 from 10 a.m. until noon.
Herburger noted that the organization’s home features a bit of Whiting history inside of it. There are some historical photos of Whiting in their offices. She went to the Ocean County Historical Society and went through the photos with them. “One of our volunteers had the project and we did a kind of caption of what and when it was.”
Somebody Cares itself began in 1975 “and we were incorporated in 1977. The building was built on donations. There hasn’t been a great awareness of it and we want to let people know we are here for them. We want to help and if we can’t, we will find a resource for them,” Herburger added.
The group works with the Ocean County Office of Senior Services as well as the township’s office of senior services which now has a satellite office a short distance away in Whiting.
Herburger said, “we have lunch and learn presentations at lunch where you bring a brown bag lunch and someone comes in to do a presentation. We’ve had those here for the volunteers and so the appreciation is our giving them lunch and they hear from Manchester senior services, Ocean County Senior Services and we’ve had veterans here, Beacon of Life, The Barn and the list goes on.”
The building houses a number of offices and meeting areas plus a kitchen and a holding area for donated medical equipment for its loaner program. The group is adding an elevator to its building which is set to be installed later this fall.