Building Bigger

Nutley’s Friendly Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program

Strengthens the emotional and social well-being of people served through social service supports.

Together with State Farm, Nutley Family Service Bureau can expand our volunteer services with the 'Nutley's Friendly Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program.' At the heart of this program is friendly visiting, a scientifically proven intervention where older persons are matched with a volunteer who regularly calls and visits.

Studies reveal that loneliness and social isolation in older adults (55+) have profound and detrimental health impacts. The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated these silent and adverse conditions.

The value of these visits:
1. Nutritious food from our Food Pantry
1. Reduction in loneliness & isolation
2. Physical and mental health & social service referrals
3. Physical and mental health treatment & services
4. Personal & household essentials from our Thrift Shop

This timely, hands-on program will provide quality, life-affirming visits, food, personal items to seniors and homebound residents, reducing the major risk factors linked to poor physical and mental health.

An award from State Farm would jumpstart the expansion of our volunteer services and launch Nutley's Friendly Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program. As COVID-19 surges continue in New Jersey, the time is now to launch this neighbor-to-neighbor service. There is no shortage of seniors to assist, and the local public health officials are inundated with calls from older adults isolated in their homes for fear of illness and death.

The funds will support the screening for each senior and match them with volunteers(s), marketing for volunteers - including adults and youth from service clubs and high schools, training on the needs of older adults and homebound residents, cultural and linguistic competence, services, and safety. Stipends for the volunteer will cover gas, mileage, and minor expenses, appreciation meals, agency merchandise, and a recognition award event. We will conduct several county-wide meetings to promote the adoption of the program model with public and private agencies.

Nutley’s Friendly Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program will increase socialization and reduce isolation for 100+ older adults and homebound residents throughout Nutley Township, NJ, and surrounding communities in year one. Trained volunteers will be scheduled for regular visits to provide friendly support, food, and clothing. Notably, the volunteers will connect the vulnerable and at-risk individuals with our social workers and mental health providers. Based on research, by reducing social isolation in older adults, mental health will improve, and the risk for dementia, heart disease, and stroke will decrease.

As a trusted, civic-minded agency operating for decades in the heart of Essex County (2nd most populated county in NJ), we are committed to the vision that mental well-being is an integral part of life! We will expand and share this model in our region to exponentially increase the impact of this program for thousands of our vulnerable and homebound neighbors. Thank you.

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