What's Happening at FCS
With the holidays fast approaching, FCS is asking for your help in granting the holiday wishes of nearly 2,000 area children in need. The agency is collecting donations of new children’s coats, hats, gloves, toys, books, gift cards and infant necessities through Wednesday, December 13th for its holiday giving program, Operation Sleighbells.
“Our agency was started 108 years ago on the premise that no one should feel forgotten during the holidays, especially children,” explains FCS CEO Delly Beekman. “Operation Sleighbells continues that tradition by bringing the community together to make the season brighter for our neighbors in need. Granting the holiday wish of a child may not seen like much, but for the child who might not otherwise receive a gift, or the parent who cannot provide one, it’s everthing.”
Operation Sleighbells is different from many holiday programs in that it addresses the specific wishes of every child. Participating families are interviewed in early October and asked to provide the ages, sizes and gift wishes for each child. Using the lists, the agency then collects, organizes, sorts and distributes thousands of gifts to hundreds of families each year.
FCS Director of Volunteer Services Samantha White says Operation Sleighbells is an enormous undertaking that requires more than 5,000 square feet of off-site space. “For the past several years, we have been fortunate that Monmouth Racetrack has allowed us to use a portion of their Oceanport facilities to conduct Operation Sleighbells,” Samantha explains. “Without their donation of space, we would be forced to greatly reduce the number of families we serve.”
The program also relies on the generosity of dozens of corporations, businesses, schools, churches, families and other organizations who donate gifts to the program or volunteer. Karen Pennington with West Ward Pharmaceuticals in Eatontown is in charge of organizing her company’s collection drive each year. “Of all the programs we participate in each year, this is the dearest to our heart,” Karen says. In five years, West Ward has helped fulfill the holiday wishes of more than 800 area children.
If you are interested in supporting Operation Sleighbells, there are a number of ways to help:
- Adopt a Family – Provide toys, gifts, coats and perhaps a supermarket gift card to enable an entire family to have a special holiday meal.
- Host a collection drive at work, school, or organization. — FCS will provide tags listing the first name of a participating child with his or her age, size and holiday wish. Employees or group members can then select a tag and buy a gift for that particular child.
- Donate gifts – FCS gladly accepts new, unwrapped coats, books, toys and other gifts and will sort and distribute them based on the needs of those registered for the program
- Donate money to purchase gift cards for teenagers – Donations can be made online at or mailed to the agency.
- Volunteer – Volunteer to help sort and pack gifts.
For more information about Operation Sleighbells and how you can help, call us at 732-222-9111.
Medicare Open Enrollment, the period of time when eligible Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage plans without penalty, began on October 15th. Seniors and other eligible beneficiaries who have questions about their Medicare options for 2018 are encouraged to contact our agency to schedule a free, confidential appointment with a qualified State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor. (more…)
FCS is proud to honor former FCS Board Chair Dolores Klein, long-time Board member Donald Bush and the philanthropic rock group, The Docs of Rock, at our 2017 FCS Leading Lights Gala, Saturday, October 14 at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, NJ. The Honorees are being recognized for their tireless advocacy on behalf of the agency, its Mission and those we serve.
“This year’s honorees demonstrate the very best in our community,” FCS Board Chair Paul Stach explains “Individuals willing to commit their time and resources to improve the lives of others. We are honored to be the recipient of their longstanding generosity and enduring kindness.” (more…)
THANK YOU to the more than 100 golfers who turned out to support FCS at our 2017 FCS Golf Classic on Monday, July 24th at Deal Golf & Country Club. The event, co-chaired by FCS Board members Anthony Frigoletto and Mark Stoll, is expected to raise more than $40,000 to support FCS’ fourteen diverse programs and services that assist people in need throughout Monmouth County.
Join us on Monday, July 24th at Deal Golf and Country Club, for our 2017 FCS Golf Classic. Registration is underway for the annual outing, which kicks off with a barbeque-style lunch and concludes with an evening cocktail reception, dinner and awards ceremony. Registration fees for this year’s event are $420 for individual golfers and $1,650 for a Foursome. Sponsorship opportunities, which include signage on the course, acknowledgement in the event program and recognition through publicity and social media, are also available. Contact Diane Gribbin email@example.com or call 732-222-9111
The following testimony was submitted by FCS Adult Protective Services Director Lisa Barnes at a Public Hearing, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 before the Monmouth County Office on Aging, Disabilities & Veterans Services:
Next Thursday, June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day; a day set aside for communities around the world to raise awareness about elder abuse, and to shed light on the importance of preventing, identifying, and responding to this serious, escalating problem. It’s estimated that each year, 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and for every case that is reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported. Experts agree this upward trend will continue for at least the next decade, as more and more baby boomers enter their later years, becoming the fastest growing population in the country.
Nearly 250 guests joined members of the FCS Navarumsunk Auxiliary to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show, Wednesday, May 10 at Branches in Long Branch. The event raised more than $12,000 for FCS (Family & Children’s Service) programs and services. (more…)
FCS is currently accepting applications for its free Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) class to be held this summer, July 5th through the 26th at Keyport High School in Keyport, NJ. The 76-hour training program, which can cost upwards of $1,500, is being offered at no cost to students through generous grants from Investors Bank™ and the Mary Owen Borden Foundation. The grants also include funds to cover many of the associated costs and fees normally absorbed by students, including educational materials, application and licensing fees. (more…)