May is Mental Health Month!

Posted on May 20, 2016

May is Mental Health Month and Mental Health America has chosen Life with a Mental Illness as this year’s theme. Life with a Mental Illness stresses the importance of speaking up about mental health.

Do You Know What Mental Illness Feels Like?

We often hear the clinical terms used by doctors and other professionals to identify the symptoms of mental illnesses…but if someone hasn’t gone through it, would they know how to recognize it?

So often, clinical terms don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. We know that two people with the same diagnosis can experience the same symptom and describe it in very different ways. Understanding the signs of a mental illness and identifying how it can feel can be confusing — and sometimes can contribute to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help.

This May, Oaks Integrated Care is raising awareness of the importance of speaking up about mental health, and asking individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like by tagging social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike. You can share your words, pictures or videos on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OaksIntCare.

MHM 2016 Social Media Images-Call to Action 300x250px

Posting with our hashtag is a way to speak up to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and to help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Life with a Mental Illness is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need.

Your words, pictures or videos can help break down the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and show others that they are not alone. Thank you for being a positive voice for change.

– Rachael

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Over 300 Dresses Collected for Project Dress Up

Posted on May 19, 2016

MPP Logo

For three years, you have helped Oaks Integrated Care #MakePromPossible for hundreds of local teens. Our generous donors and volunteers helped us collect and hand out over 300 prom dresses to teens in need so they can attend their prom in style!

We could tell you how much of an impact this event had, but instead, we’d like to share the following story with you from one of our volunteers at the shop.

The first day the shop opened, a mom and daughter came to the door with a few beautiful dresses to donate. The mom explained that the one blue ball gown was the dress her daughter picked out from the shop last year. After her prom, she had it dry cleaned and wanted to bring it back this year for someone else to love – the perfect way to pay it forward!

While they were at the shop, another girl searching for a dress fell in love with the newly donated blue ball gown. The two families connected and shared their stories. The girls were thankful they found each other and it was an amazing moment for everyone involved.

Thank you again for making experiences like this possible. Check out the photos below of the dress shop and our incredible donors and volunteers.

Boyd Prom DressThank you Thomas Boyd Communications!Prom Dress Collection CCThank you Camden County Employee Connections!Dresses

Still More Dresses

PDU3  PDU2

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A special thank you to our community partners:

Whitesell
The Barclay Group
Camden County Employee Connections
Design Du Jour, Event Planning Co.
Dow Jones, Princeton
Dry Clean City, Voorhees
Jay West, Haddonfield
J & J Snack Foods Corp.
Surety Title Company, Marlton
The Perfecting Church, Sewell
Things I Like, Back on the Rack, Englishtown

– Rachael

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2016 Haddonfield Progressive Dinner Photos

Posted on May 5, 2016

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Thank you to all the hosts, chefs, guests and local businesses that made this event so successful! Visit our Flickr page to see all the fantastic photos from the Haddonfield Progressive Dinner.

 

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Over 18,000 Diapers Collected!

Posted on May 4, 2016

15,000 diapers - diaper derby
We set a goal to collect 15,000 diapers for the most vulnerable members of our community – babies! However, with the help of our generous community partners we exceeded our goal of 15,000 and collected 18,531 diapers! We just couldn’t have done it without your help – THANK YOU!

Here are just a few of our favorite photos from the drive.

Girl Scout DD - diaper derby oaks integrated diaper derby oaks integrated care - car unloading diapers Oaks Integrated Care Diaper Derby

 

Do you have pictures from your Diaper Drive? Post them on our Facebook Wall or tweet the photos to @oaksintcare.

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Donor Spotlight: foodwerx

Posted on April 13, 2016

foodwerx
When it comes to food, there’s no limit to Owner Nick Wall’s imagination. Think bacon spoons topped with a special ‘goo’- pretzels, caramel and salted peanuts for a punchy, savory and sweet delight. Or hanging charcuterie- little spears of beef suspended from a rack, enticing guests to have a taste.

Nick has a passion for food but he also has a passion for helping his community. Since the start of our Progressive Dinner fundraisers in 2004, foodwerx has participated as the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres chef in more than 10 dinners throughout Moorestown and Haddonfield. They go above and beyond with personalized menus served up with an added ‘wow’ factor that is always a delight to dinner guests. Throughout the year foodwerx has also donated lunches for Crisis Intervention Team trainings and our foster care program’s “School of Rock” performances.

Thank you foodwerx team for your commitment to our organization and the community!

– Rachael

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Committed to Change in Camden

Posted on April 6, 2016

Poverty. Crime. Violence. Trauma. Unfortunately, these are the harsh words frequently used to define the city of Camden, New Jersey. We believe it’s our job to look beyond these words and see that Camden is a community with the strength and resiliency to push past these challenges. Most importantly, we see the opportunity for change and commit to providing essential services to children, adults and families right in the heart of Camden. While we have had a presence in the city for over 50 years, in 2015 we expanded that footprint significantly.

At the start of this school year, Oaks began providing support to students in 7 different Camden schools through our School Based Youth Services Programs (SBYSP). Each week, the program enriches the lives of approximately 300-400 students through a multitude of health and social services on site during and after school. In a city where less than half of students graduate high school, SBYSP strives to help youth complete their education, obtain skills to lead to continuing education or employment and graduate healthy and drug free.

This past summer, we had the incredible opportunity to train nearly 300 members of the Camden County Police Department on how to help a person in psychiatric distress. Police often respond first to a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Training helps law enforcement learn to cope with these difficult situations and increase safety for everyone involved- officers, individuals in crisis and bystanders. In 2016, trainings will expand to give police dispatchers the knowledge and skills necessary to identify a caller in crisis and respond effectively.

Our Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program continues to increase outreach at transportation hubs, shelters, soup kitchens and drop in centers to individuals who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. PATH places individuals with a serious mental illness in appropriate housing and links them to formal mental health treatment.

Additionally, Children’s Mobile Response responded to nearly 600 families in Camden experiencing a crisis in 2015. CMR offers immediate in-home crisis stabilization services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The family focused approach helps defuse the immediate crisis, maintain a safe living environment, prevent inappropriate hospitalizations and link to follow-up services.

Our job is not done. The challenges may be daunting but they are not insurmountable. Moving forward, we plan to strengthen these programs and expand our reach to serve more children, adults and families in Camden. You can work hand and hand with us by donating, advocating and volunteering to make it a safer, healthier city for citizens to grow and thrive. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity as a community to see the potential and commit to true change in Camden.

Respectfully,
Bob Pekar
Chief Executive Officer

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Diaper Derby – Help Families Like Melody’s

Posted on March 30, 2016

Oaks Integrated Care Diaper Derby Logo 2016Our Diaper Derby is underway! Diapers directly impact a family’s ability to thrive and be self-sufficient. Unfortunately, many families in our programs cannot afford to pay for necessary baby items. Although safety net programs such as SNAP and WIC help with the cost of food, they do not cover the cost of diapers. Your donation to the Diaper Derby will help families like Melody’s –

Melody’s mother, Sara, has struggled with addiction her entire life. Melody was forced to grow up quickly, often worrying about her mother, when they would eat next and where they would stay at night. At seventeen, Melody found out she was pregnant and knew it was time to make a change.

Determined to provide a better life for her daughter, Melody relocated to her grandmother’s home to secure a stable living situation and began participating in our Teenage Parent Program (TAPP). TAPP provides counseling, case management, peer support groups and education to pregnant and parenting teens and their families.

Five months ago, Melody gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Kendall. She obtained a part-time job and continues to attend high school and participate in an employment program to learn job skills. One day, her dream is to attend college and become a nurse. The diapers Melody will receive through our Diaper Derby will make a huge difference to this young mother striving to provide for her daughter and their future.

Learn more about our Diaper Drive and how YOU can make a difference!

– Rachael

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Join our race to 15,000 Diapers!

Posted on March 15, 2016

Oaks Integrated Care Diaper Derby 15,000 Diapers

Our Diaper Derby is underway! We’re racing to collect diapers, wipes, formula and other necessary items for our most vulnerable consumers – babies!

Items collected from this drive help families in need throughout Oaks Integrated Care programs. YOU can help!

  1. Run your OWN Diaper Derby. Get your classmates, co-workers or community involved. We will provide you with a toolkit including collection bins, posters and email templates. *This is a great activity for middle and high school students!
  2. Drop off donations to a Oaks Integrated Care location.
  3. Donate online or mail monetary contributions to: Oaks Integrated Care, 770 Woodlane Road, Suite 16, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060.

Please consider donating – every donation is a huge help!

– Rachael

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#MakePromPossible

Posted on March 1, 2016

ProjectDressUp
Give your dresses a second chance so deserving teens can attend their prom in style! This spring, teens in our community will have the opportunity to shop for their prom dresses and accessories. We accept donations of formal dresses in good condition of all sizes, colors and styles appropriate for a high school prom. Please also consider donating dress shoes, formal purses, clutches, shawls and jewelry.

DressShop2015-2

Hold a Dress Drive
Get your classmates, co-workers or community involved. Oaks Integrated Care can provide you with a toolkit including collection bins, posters and email templates.
*This is a great activity for high school students!

Drop-Off Details
When:
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m – 5 p.m.
NOW until March 31, 2016.

Where:
Oaks Integrated Care Locations
79 Chestnut Street, Lumberton, NJ
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 23, Mt. Holly, NJ
128 Cross Keys Road, Berlin, NJ
1138 E. Chestnut Avenue, Unit 3A, Vineland, NJ
31 Lexington Avenue, Ewing, NJ 08618

Questions?
Contact us at 609-267-5928 or visit our Project Dress Up page.

– Rachael

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Save the Date: 2016 Haddonfield Progressive Dinner

Posted on February 24, 2016

HPD2016Slider

Mark your calendars for an evening of food, friends and fun all in the name of charity. Our 7th annual Haddonfield Progressive Dinner will be April 29, 2016!

Attendees will begin the evening with a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception at the beautiful Haddonfield home of Sam and Colette Gabriel . From there, attendees will enjoy an intimate dinner with friends prepared by a talented area chef in a Haddonfield home.

For more information on tickets, sponsorships and more, visit our Haddonfield Progressive Dinner page.

2015 Haddonfield Progressive Dinner Hosts

2015 Haddonfield Progressive Dinner Hosts

Please take a moment to enjoy all the photos from last year’s Haddonfield Progressive Dinner.

– Rachael

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