What's Happening at FCS

Your Invited to the Spring Fashion Show!

Members of the Navarumsunk Auxiliary of Family & Children’s Service (FCS) cordially invite you to attend the auxiliary’s 2018 Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show, at 11:00am, Wednesday, May 9, at Branches in West Long Branch.  The event, now in its 61st year, will feature a shopping boutique and runway fashion show courtesy of Le Papillion in Rumson. Funds raised will benefit FCS programs and services including home care, respite care and homelessness prevention.

Since its formation more than 60 years ago, the Navarumsunk Auxiliary has hosted hundreds of special events raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of the FCS Mission and Vision. The group is made up of dedicated volunteers from throughout Monmouth County. Tickets to this year’s luncheon are $60 per person and include entrance to the shopping boutique, the luncheon, fashion show, a chance auction and 50/50 raffle. To receive your invitation, contact FCS Director of Development Diane Gribbin at 732-222-9111 or at dgribbin@fcsmonmouth.org

Calling All Book Lovers!

Do you love to read? Would you enjoy sharing your enthusiasm for reading with young children? Then we have the opportunity for you!

We are seeking volunteers for our school-based read aloud program, Reading Buddies, currently operating in 17 Monmouth County public elementary schools.  Reading Buddies places specially-trained adult volunteers in the classroom to read aloud to small groups of kindergarten and first grade students to encourage reading participation and advance literacy. (more…)

Deborah Zilai named Chair of the FCS Board of Directors

Retired New Jersey Resources (NJR) executive Deborah Zilai has been named chair of the Family & Children’s Service (FCS) board of directors. She succeeds Paul Stach whose two-year term expired in December 2017.  Ms. Zilai is the 33rd person to serve as chair of FCS since the agency’s founding more than a century ago.

“It is an honor to be chosen as chair of the FCS board of directors,” Ms. Zilai explains. “I am grateful to our outgoing chair, Paul Stach, my board colleagues and our CEO, Delly Beekman for providing a solid foundation and positioning FCS to address the needs of our community today and in the future. Together, with our dedicated staff, we will continue the agency’s 109-year tradition of supporting people at challenging times in their lives.”

FCS is Monmouth County’s oldest, private, non-profit social service agency providing at-risk populations with fourteen diverse programs and services, including Adult Protective Services, Home Care Services, Community Support Services and Representative Payee Services.  Its board of directors works in partnership with staff to provide organizational oversight and advance the agency’s mission and vision.

Since joining the FCS board in 2004, Ms. Zilai has served in a number of leadership capacities, including vice-chair of the board and co-chair of the programs and strategic planning committee. Previously, she served as vice president of Corporate Services at NJR where she oversaw technology, human resources, office services, facilities and security. Prior to joining NJR, Ms. Zilai spent two decades with IBM. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cedar Crest College and holds multiple professional certificates. Ms. Zilai and her husband Rob, reside in Brielle where she serves on the governing board of The Church in Brielle and volunteers as a Sunday school teacher.

Along with Ms. Zilai’s appointment, the FCS board also named Patricia Keating, RN, of Eatontown as vice-chair, Richard J. Angelo, Esq. of Long Branch as secretary, Eric Jaeger of Fair Haven as treasurer and Carrie VanSyckel Page of Fair Haven as assistant treasurer.

The Board also welcomed three new members in 2017; Anna Burian, FACHE, Lisa Brodeth Carrick and Clay Kingsbery. Ms. Burian serves as vice president of Ambulatory Services at Monmouth Medical Center where she provides executive leadership and strategic development of the Medical Center’s ambulatory services on main campus and satellite facilities throughout Monmouth County. A resident of Tinton Falls, Ms Burian holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Healthcare Administration from Seton Hall University and an undergraduate degree from Florida International University.

Ms. Brodeth Carrick is the manager for the Employment & Empowerment Team program (EET) for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, connecting teams of professionals with unemployed or underemployed volunteers, assisting them with resume writing, life coaching and other skills. A resident of Middletown, Ms. Brodeth Carrick holds an MA in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University and an undergraduate degree from City University of New York-Hunter College.

Mr. Kingsbery is a retired Wall Street executive who served as managing director of Lazard Freres & Co., managing director & chief financial officer of Wasserstein Perella & Co. Inc., and senior manager at Price Waterhouse.  A resident of Rumson, Mr. Kingsbery graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School and earned his undergraduate degree at Washington & Lee University.

Other members of the 2018 FCS Board of Directors include: Tony Frigoletto, Daphne Halpern, FAHP, CFRE, Rabbi Marc Aaron Kline, Arlene Lospinso, Debbie O’Donoghue, Dena Walter Reger, Esq., Donna Goss Robinson, Tiffany Senft, Paul Stach, Mark Stoll, Jack Weakley and board president emeritae BJ Thompson and Lee Weber.

To learn more about FCS and the services we provide, visit the FCS website at www.fcsmonmouth.org

Join us at our 2018 Events

FCS Volunteers and staff anticipate a productive year of varied and entertaining fundraisers in 2018. Plans are already underway for most of the agency’s annual events, including the Navarumsunk Axuiliary Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show, the FCS Golf Classic and the agency’s largest fundraiser of the year, the FCS Leading Lights Gala.

FCS serves over 9,000 people annually addressing issues of homelessness; neglect, abuse or exploitation; health and respite care; financial instability due to physical or mental disabilities; childhood literacy and obesity; long-term care planning and Medicare counseling.  While the agency partners with many organizations and government agencies to provide services,  its fundraisers are vital to sustaining the organization’s work in the community.

“In many cases, we are the sole county-designated provider of unduplicated services and often the last hope for individuals and families in crisis,” FCS Director of Development Diane Gribbin explains. “Our fundraising events are a true partnership between our volunteers and staff that ultimately benefit every person FCS serves.”

The list of 2018 FCS fundraising events include:

  • The Navarumsunk Auxiliary Luncheon & Fashion Show, Wednesday, May 9th at Branches Catering in West Long Branch
  • The FCS Golf Classic, Monday, July 23rd at Rumson Country Club
  • Plein Air Art Show, Saturday, August 25th at Monmouth Beach Bath & Tennis Club
  • The Navarumsunk Auxiliary Bridge Benefit, Wednesday, September 12th at Rumson Country Club
  • The FCS Leading Lights Gala, Saturday, October 27th at Navesink Country Club

For more information about FCS events and how to become involved, contact FCS Director of Development at dgribbin@fcsmonmouth.org or call 732-222-9111.





Operation Sleighbells provides gifts for 1,700 children

Employees of Nestle in Freehold

Hundreds of Monmouth County families enjoyed a brighter holiday season in 2017, thanks in part to area families, businesses and organizations who partnered with Family & Children’s Service (FCS) to support Operation Sleighbells.  The agency’s annual holiday giving program provided thousands of donated toys, books, coats, pajamas and infant necessities to more than 1,700 children in need, including 400 children served by child protection programs in central and southern Monmouth County.

“We’re delighted that we were able to make so many holiday wishes come true!” FCS Director of Volunteer Services Samantha White exclaimed. “The generosity of our donors made it possible for us to provide gifts or gift cards to every single child who requested one. A nurse at one of the elementary schools served by our program says she overheard students talking about their favorite gifts. That warms our hearts!”

NJ State Police Fraternal Order of the Police

White also credited Monmouth Park for this year’s successful drive. For the third consecutive year, the owners of the Oceanport racetrack donated 10,000 square feet of space needed to store, sort and distribute the thousands of donated gifts.  White says without the off-site location, FCS would be forced to reduce the number of families it serves.

Operation Sleighbells is different from other holiday drives in that it addresses the specific needs and wishes of each participating child. Families are interviewed and asked to provide the ages, sizes and needs of the children in their care. Donors are then asked to fulfill the requests, either individually or by sponsoring an entire family.

Shop & Stop Directors and Managers

This year, along with the many individual families who signed up to donate, more than 100 businesses and organizations also sponsored families or conducted toy drives, including: Abe Pressman Jewelers, Advisors Mortgage Group, Amazon Consulting Experts, Ansell Healthcare LLC, Atlantic Club in Red Bank and Manasquan, Atlantis Prep, Audi of Eatontown, Beach Front North Day Book Club, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Brookdale Community College, Brownie Troop 252 Unit 8, Canbert Inc., CCMSI, Circle of Life Chiropractic, Cobham, Colonial Terrace Neighborhood Association, Colts Neck High School, CommVault, Continental Logistics, CRA, Dittmar Agency, Dugan Elementary School, Endoscopy Center of Red Bank, Family First Urgent Care, First Financial Credit Union, Fragoman Worldwide, Freehold Cartage Inc., Freehold Hyundai, French & Parello, GHG Group, Haircrafters Salon, Holmdel High School, Holmdel Village School, Howell High School, Howell Rebel Football, HUB International Northeast, InSite Engineering, Interworld Highway, Investors Savings Bank, Jersey Shore Women’s Club, Kindercare of Wall, Lightbridge Academy, Little Chief Learning Station, Little Silver Animal Hospital, Loscalzo Institute Man and Woman of the Year, Marlboro Elementary School, MBL Marketing Solutions, Metropolitan Asthma & Allergy, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Monmouth Retina Consults, Monmouth University, Moser Taboada Law Firm, Natural Health Care Center, Nestle, NJ Office of Unemployment, NJ State FOP, Noise in the Attic, Noontime Optimist Club of Freehold, Ocean Dental, Ocean Pointe Realtors, Old Bridge Dental, Quaker Special Risk, Qualcare, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Relentless Fitness and Training, ReMax Central, Revenue Guard, Ridge Realty, Robert Half, Rumson Country Day School, Rumson Public Works, Sarah E. Elias, Esq., Shrewsbury Garden Club, Single Throw Internet Marketing, Stephen Gould Corp., Stop & Shop, Strasz Computer Consulting, Tarise Day Spa, The Learning Experience, The Pilates Project, Trident Abstract Title Agency, Trinity Solar, Victor Zando Foundation, Wall Township Girl Scouts, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, Warshauer Electric and West Long Branch First Aid.

Enjoy our Operation Sleighbells 2017 Photo Gallery

Enjoy our special THANK YOU to all those who helped make Operation Sleighbells 2017 a success!





































Helping Clients Lead Fuller Lives

Tyshon Woods

Tyshon Woods is an inspiration to everyone who knows him. Born with multiple developmental disabilities and raised in the foster care system from the age of five, Tyshon overcame numerous challenges to become the person he is today, a confidant high school graduate with a reliable job, stable living environment and an unabashed enthusiasm for his passion: the martial arts.

“I have been studying karate a long time at BKG Academy in Long Branch,” Tyshon explains. “I go twice a week after work and every time I earn a belt, they say, Tyshon, want to start studying for the next one? This year I earned my Brown Belt. They make me keep going. They are really great!”

But despite Tyshon’s considerable achievements, his disability prevents him from leading a fully independent life. Tyshon relies on support from programs such as FCS’s Representative Payee (RepPayee) to keep him safe and avoid potential homelessness.

Sue Theirs

“Tyshon is an example of someone who was born into not great circumstance, but has been brave enough to try new things,” explains FCS RepPayee Director Sue Thiers. “He’s such a pleasure to work with and I am so glad we’ve been able to help him pursue his interests by giving him some financial stability.”

As a designated Organizational RepPayee, FCS provides financial management services to more than 1,000 Social Security beneficiaries in New Jersey and throughout the country who, like Tyshon, are incapable of managing their own funds due to significant mental, developmental or physical disabilities. Clients are referred to the RepPayee program from a variety of sources, including state and local hospitals, mental health agencies, families and caseworkers. Once a referral is received, Sue and her team of just three support staff work closely with the client and his or her caseworker to prepare a budget that maximizes their funds and ensures that their monthly expenses are covered.

“It works like a triage system,” Sue explains. “We give housing the highest priority, then money for utilities, food, clothing, and daily activities. If there is money left over after the bills are paid, we will disperse funds dependent on a client’s needs.”

Sue and Tyshon with his Brown Belt

Sue says even reluctant clients eventually appreciate the program because it takes some of the stress out of their already challenging lives. While most must remain in the program indefinitely due to the nature of their disabilities, some clients do graduate and live independently again.

“One of our clients was on the verge of homeless,” Sue recalls. “With our help and her own determination, she was able to get her life back on track. Now she has a home, a job, and is learning to pay her own bills. There are success stories!”

Sue says the need for RepPayee continues to grow and with more resources, she hopes to reach even more people like Tyshon.

For Tyshon, RepPayee has been a lifesaver. “Sue and the rest of the people in her office, they keep an eye out for me. They always make sure I have money for Karate lessons. They know how much that means to me.”

If you would like to help others like Tyshon, please consider a donation to FCS this Giving Tuesday,  Tuesday, November 28th. We appreciate any support than you can give!

Holiday Shopping to Benefit FCS

Mark your calendar for Thursday, November 16, 2017 and please join us at J.Crew in The Grove in Shrewsbury for a special holiday shopping event to benefit FCS!  For one day only, Thursday, November 16th, from 11 am until 8 pm, you, your family and friends will enjoy an exclusive 20% off your purchases of $125 or more.  A portion of the sales proceeds from the day will be donated to FCS to support agency programs and services.  Last year, the FCS Holiday Shopping Event raised more than $7,000 for FCS. For additional information, contact FCS Development Director Diane Gribbin at dgribbin@fcsmonmouth.org.


Sponsor a Family for Operation Sleighbells

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:

  1. Sponsor a Family – Provide toys, gifts, coats and perhaps a supermarket gift card to enable an entire family to have a special holiday meal.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Donate money to purchase gift cards for teenagers – Donations can be made online or mailed to the agency.
  5. 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.