Share Your Holiday Spirit: Janiyah’s Story

Posted on December 7, 2016

This holiday season, while many of us spend time celebrating with loved ones and finishing up last minute shopping, others face much bigger challenges.

You can make an impact by giving a monetary contribution, providing gifts or sponsoring a family in need. Just imagine the wonderful memories your donation will bring to those who need it the most…

Stanford University! When 17 year old Janiyah received news that she was accepted, her dream officially became a reality. Despite the trauma and adversity she faced throughout her childhood, Janiyah always had her heart set on attending college.

Sadly, last year Janiyah was removed from her home along with her younger siblings due to her mother’s chronic drug abuse. With nowhere to turn, she moved into a homeless shelter in the city on her own. Our mentoring program immediately started working with Janiyah to offer emotional support and life skills training.

Throughout her senior year Janiyah has maintained an A average while actively participating in the performing arts program and drill team. She even manages to work part-time at a fast food restaurant on the weekends. With help from staff she was accepted into the NJ Scholars Program and learned the skills needed to apply for college.

We successfully advocated for the shelter to extend curfew so Janiyah could attend play practice and dance classes. She performed in several theatre productions and recently had the opportunity to attend a Broadway play in New York. We could not be more proud of Janiyah as she heads off to college next fall.

Each day we work with teens like Janiyah coping with the trauma of abuse, adults learning to manage a mental illness and families struggling to put food on the table. By making a contribution, you will make an immediate impact on those who urgently need our support.

Share your holiday spirit and bring wonderful memories and support to those who need it most here!

 

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4 Ways to Give This #GivingTuesday

Posted on November 29, 2016

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We invite you to make the holiday season special on this #GivingTuesday for children, teens and adults who need it most. You can make an impact by giving a monetary contribution, holding a gift drive or by sponsoring a group home or family in need. Just imagine the joy and holiday memories your donation will bring to families struggling to make ends meet.

  1. Donate gifts or hold your own gift drive. We will provide you with all the necessary tools to run your own gift drive from your home, school or office! This is a perfect opportunity for your company or for a service project for middle and high school students!

Holiday Giving Donation Ideas:

  • Board games, puzzles
  • Art supplies, beading and crafting kits
  • Books, educational toys, musical toys
  • Basketballs, footballs, soccer balls
  • Snow saucers, skateboards, bicycles
  • Sports jerseys, coats, sweatshirts, pajamas
  • MP3 players, hand-held electronics
  • Journals, picture frames
  • Fleece blankets, twin bedding
  • Make-up, personal care items
  • Duffle bags, purses
  • Gloves, scarves, hats
  • Jewelry

Drop off Donations to Oaks Integrated Care locations

770 Woodlane Road
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

1409 Kings Highway North
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

  1. Sponsor a family or group home. When an individual, organization or group sponsors a family or a group home they are able to purchase gifts for an ENTIRE family to ensure that everyone has something during the holidays. Fill out a sponsor form here!
  2. Make a monetary contribution online:

donateonlinetoday

or mail to:
Oaks Integrated Care
Development Office
770 Woodlane Road
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

  1. Spread the word. Email friends or post to social media sites. Each person you tell could make the holiday season special for a family in need.

Questions? Please call Aldelise Castellar at 609-267-5928 ext. 99836 or aldelise.castellar@oaksintcare.org

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Over 1600 Turkeys Received

Posted on November 23, 2016

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our Thanksgiving Turkey Drive this year! We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful donors, volunteers and staff who worked hard to make this year’s drive the most successful yet. We received over 1600 turkeys with all the trimmings, making it possible for families in need to have a warm traditional Thanksgiving feast this holiday.

Check out some of the photos from this year’s drive:

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Stewart Business Systems

franklinmachineproducts
Franklin Machine Products

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Goddard School Delran

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Holy Cross Academy Key Club

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Water Resources

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Miller Transportation Group

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Princeton House

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Westampton Middle School

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Volunteers from One America

 

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this drive a success! From all of us at Oaks Integrated Care, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Journey To Supportive Housing

Posted on November 15, 2016

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Congratulations to Robert Nock who was chosen to receive the 2016 Supportive Housing Award for Tenant of the Year by the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey! This award recognizes an individual living in a supportive housing setting that exemplifies an outstanding tenant though their actions and support of fellow residents.

Examples of leadership demonstrated by the award recipient include:

  • Advocating for the concept of supportive housing in the larger community
  • Encouraging and supporting fellow residents in their effort to live with stability, autonomy and dignity in a formal or informal manner
  • Acting as a role model for fellow supportive housing residents by achieving his or her individual goals
  • Strives to make his or her community a better place for everyone

Robert has lived in Oaks Supportive Housing for over 10 years. His caseworker nominated him for this award for demonstrating leadership in advancing supportive housing as a model to peers and associates in his supportive housing program, partial care program and in the workplace. Not only has Robert demonstrated success as a sober and independent resident, his pleasant demeanor allows him to shine as an employee of over five years at Staples.

By talking about his personal experiences, Robert shows others struggling with mental illness and substance abuse that housing and treatment can mean the difference between a person lost and a full meaningful productive life.  His caseworker says, “Robert serves as a role model to housemates who continue to struggle with a variety of life problems. He generously shares the resources he has acquired through hard work. Resources include everything from food, to cable television and internet service, to compassion and company in the form of a listening ear when someone is having a bad day.”

In December, the Supportive Housing Association of NJ will publicly recognize Robert at their 18th Annual NJ Conference. In addition to the Supportive Housing Tenant Award, he will also receive a cash award. We couldn’t be more proud of Robert and can’t wait to support him at the event. Stay tuned for pictures!

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Gobble Gobble it’s Turkey Time!

Posted on November 1, 2016

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We’re busy gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive now through November 21st! Last year, with the help of our generous donors we distributed over 1500 turkeys with all the trimmings. This year, the need is greater than ever.

Unfortunately, hundreds of families in our programs struggle to put food on the table on a daily basis and sadly, Thanksgiving dinner is no exception. Please help us make a warm, home-cooked meal accessible for the most vulnerable members of our community. Don’t miss your chance to make Thanksgiving traditions possible this year!

Ways to Get Involved

1)Hold a Food Drive! Gather your friends, family or co-workers to help. Drop off food donations to an Oaks Integrated Care Food Pantry:

Mt. Holly Food Pantry 
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 16
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

Berlin Food Pantry
128 Berlin Cross-Keys Road
Berlin, NJ 08009

Donation Ideas

    • Frozen turkey/ham
    • Canned sweet potatoes/yams
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Canned vegetables
    • Pie filling and crust
    • Stuffing
    • Gravy
    • Disposable turkey roasting pans

2)Donate your free turkey! Many grocery stores offer a free turkey when shoppers spend a certain amount in the month of November.

3)Donate Online or by Mail!

donateonlinetoday

Mail monetary donations to:

Oaks Integrated Care, Attn: Development Office
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 15, Mt. Holly NJ, 08060

4)Volunteer! Volunteers are needed the week of Thanksgiving to pack bags and distribute food.

Questions? Contact Addy Castellar at (609) 267-5928 Ext. 99836 or by email at aldelise.castellar@oaksintcare.org

 

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October: National Bullying Prevention Month

Posted on October 26, 2016

5 Ways to Talk to Your Child about Bullying

bully

We all know someone who was bullied or have experienced it ourselves. When a bully becomes your child’s problem, it’s important to understand how to deal effectively with the situation.

Check out these statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

1 out of 4 students report being bullied at school.

1 out of 5 students admit to taking part in bullying.

35% of kids have been threatened or harassed online.

1 out of 5 kids admit to being threatened more than once.

How do I know my child is being bullied?

Bullying occurs when one or more people target others through purposeful exclusion, threats of harm, intimidation or physical assaults. It takes shape in a variety of ways which can be physical or verbal, taking place in person or through various forms of technology such as social media platforms and text messaging. If action is not taken, bullying can cause severe effects related to self-esteem, social interaction and performance in school. It also puts children at greater risk of dropping out of school, self-harm, abuse of drugs and alcohol, depression and committing crimes.

How do I talk to my child about what bullying is, how to stand up to it and how to get help?

  1. Talk about your past experiences with bullying. Showing you understand and sharing examples will make your child feel more at ease.
  2. Keep an open line of communication and remain involved. This can be done through questions about school, friends, interests and all other aspects of their lives.
  3. Speak up. Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. Create a safe space for open, honest dialog.
  4. Teach your child that there are options. Discuss different courses of action such as walking away or notifying school officials.
  5. Promote kindness. Urge your child to help others who are being bullied by showing kindness or finding help.

October is a great time to raise awareness for this important issue, but we should all work hard year round doing our part to prevent bullying. Share your story on Facebook and tell us what you have done to prevent bullying or how it has affected you.

For more information about bullying, including how to prevent it and how to get help please visit stopbullying.gov.

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Shining Light on Mental Illness

Posted on October 6, 2016

mental-illness

October 2-8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. During this week communities come together to discuss and educate others on mental illness, helping to end the silence that often exists. Some stats on mental health in the U.S. are…

Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year.

Approximately 1 in 25 adults experience a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life.

Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.

We Can Help! Oaks Integrated Care provides over 150 health and social service programs for vulnerable children, adults and families in our community. Outreach services give adults living with mental illness the opportunity to manage their illness through supportive counseling, housing, vocational assistance, family support, medication education and crisis intervention.

YOU Can Help – Take the Pledge! Join Oaks Integrated Care and our friends at NAMI as we fight against the stigma surrounding mental health!

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Thank You for Making Touch A Truck a Huge Success!

Posted on September 27, 2016

TchATrkLogo2015_Oaks

Thank you to all the attendees, trucks, sponsors, and volunteers who made Touch A Truck such a huge success!

Proceeds benefit the Oaks Integrated Care food pantries in Mt. Holly and Berlin, which serve over 800 families per month.

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To view more photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page.

 

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Over 1,100 Backpacks Donated!

Posted on September 7, 2016

THANK YOU to everyone who supported Oaks Integrated Care’s Operation Fill-A-Backpack drive. With all of the community support, we handed out over 1,100 backpacks to children and teens in need! This is a big increase from last year’s 900 backpacks.

YOU gave a child the chance to start the school year with the tools and confidence needed to succeed!

Here are a few photos from this year’s drive:

EmersonThank you Emerson Group!

ReMaxThank you ReMax Preferred and ReMax of Cherry Hill!

SuretyThank you Surety Title Company!

TD EquipmentThank you TD Equipment!

YPNThank you BCRCC YPN!

If you have pictures of your own backpack drive, post them on our Facebook wall!

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Taking Care: Body, Mind, and Spirit – A Conference for Caregivers

Posted on July 19, 2016

Are you a caregiver for a senior family member?

Please join Oaks Integrated Care for a conference in Mercer County presented by our Senior Well-Being Program. Family caregivers of seniors with long-term illnesses are invited to attend this powerful half-day conference to gain insight into the challenges and issues associated with caregiving.

Caring for CaregiverThursday, July 28, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center
3100 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville, NJ

The program begins at 9:30 with registration, coffee and refreshments. Topics include Community Resources presented by the Mercer County Office on Aging, Food and Mood presented by Michelle Summerson, RD and Shirley Roberts, MA, LPC and Moving, Grooving & Soothing Yourself  presented by Joan Brame, PhD. The day concludes at 12:45 with evaluations and a door prize.

To register for this informative workshop, call RWJ Health Connection at 609-584-5900 or register online at rwjhamilton.org/education.

If you would like more information, please call the Oaks Caregiver Specialist at 609-396-6788 x213.

We hope to see you there!

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