September 16, 2020

I hope all of you were able to do something special over the Labor Day weekend, and that you found some time to enjoy this past weekend, as well. And, just like that, Autumn is upon us! 


Before we know it, the leaves will begin to change, and the days will seem shorter. I personally look forward to the cooler weather and spending some time outside enjoying fall activities and the beautiful colors. I hope you make the most of it, as well.


Some good news came when DDD issued guidance on September 3rd about the re-opening of day programs. Based on the guidance sent out, some clients may be able to return to day programs with other providers as early as 9/21. Alternatives is in the process of assessing our AIM day program design. As soon as we have more information on an opening date for AIM, we will let you know.


Thank you to everyone who participated in our Virtual Dignity Dash fundraiser that concluded this past Sunday. We are so grateful for those of you who shared our social media posts and helped to spread the word. We are very pleased with the initial calculations of funds raised during this event, and it wouldn't have happened without the many dedicated stakeholders and supporters of Alternatives. 


We are moving right into our Fall Fundraiser, The 6th Annual Dignity Run. Some of you may know that this event, in the past, has consisted of an escorted motorcycle ride, followed by a party for all to attend, at the Bridgewater Eagles. This year, as with our other fundraisers, we are going to hold a virtual event. The good news is that it opens up the event to many more people, near and far, and the chance to not only provide financial support to our clients, but those who participate will be eligible for a variety of prizes! 


We are asking for your support in whatever way you feel comfortable. Below, we have included a list of ways for you to help, and a link to a message from Shari and Mitch Caspert, parents of an Alternatives' client, Matthew, who attended last year's Dignity Run. 


Here are the ways you can get involved with The Dignity Run, if you choose.

• Register, ride and share a photo of your ride

• Register to fundraise and share with others

• In either case, you can join an existing team, or start your own Dignity Run Team of riders or fundraisers

• Donate and share on social media


All of the above can be done by going to: charity.gofundme.com/thedignityrun2020 


You can purchase an item to be used as a prize for this event, or one of our other fundraisers, by going to our Amazon Wishlist at: https://a.co/dOZ3INk 


Lastly, we are running a 50/50 Raffle for this year's Dignity Run. One ticket is $5, or you can purchase a book of 10 and try your luck for $50. To get your 50/50 tickets, email Karola Terlaje, Director of Administration at terlajek@alternativesinc.org.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable couple of weeks before our next communication, and for those who celebrate, a sweet Jewish New Year.




Nancy Good, MSW, LSW


September 2, 2020

Another new month is upon us, as is the Fall season. It's hard to believe that we have gone through Spring and Summer during a pandemic, but we have; and overall, we are very grateful for having done so safely.


Monday, Governor Murphy announced that restaurants will be able to open for indoor dining beginning this Friday, September 4, at 25 percent capacity. He also announced that movie theaters and indoor performance venues could also re-open with reduced capacity. This surely represents progress, and we hope that with these re-opening steps, comes a continuation of low and contained Coronavirus cases. As we have all along, we will continue to keep a close watch on all information that becomes available and make decisions based on that information. To that end, please click on the link for an update on our Overnight Visitation Guidelines effective immediately.


We continue to move forward, as an agency, as well. Our re-opening committee continues to meet and takes steps towards our new normal; much of which will have a lasting benefit on Alternatives in the long run. As a result of the pandemic, and a large majority of our administrative staff working remotely from home, we are working to become more efficient in a variety of ways. One example is the technology that we plan to implement to our phone systems. Once in place, calls to our administrative office will automatically be re-routed to employees working remotely, ensuring timely and efficient communication. We have automated many of our standard documentation procedures, that would typically require in-person signatures. As a result, our field staff do not need to drive to the office to sign paperwork, that can be reviewed and signed off on virtually, and safely. This has many benefits, including increased program efficiency, increased staff safety from not having to be on the road, and an overall cost reduction. Many of our training modules have moved to a virtual model, which has also had a variety of benefits to the agency and the staff. These are just a few of the examples of improvements that have been made, and benefits that have evolved out of these unique circumstances.


As I have mentioned before, our summer and fall fundraisers have been impacted by COVID-19, as well. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, our Dignity Dash, (5K and 1 mile-walk and Kid's Fun Run), and our Dignity Run (motorcycle ride and BBQ/Party) have been moved to virtual events. We are quite pleased by the reception we have had with the Dignity Dash, with more than 77 participants thus far, taking place from 9/7-9/13. Visit https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/AnyCityAnyState/DignityDash for more information about the Dignity Dash.


The Dignity Run has taken on a new twist, now that it will be virtual and you don't need a motorcycle to take part in the ride! If you'd like to participate, all you need are wheels! A motorcycle, a bicycle, a wheelchair, or a car, are all fair game! You can find out more, register and/or donate at https://charity.gofundme.com/thedignityrun2020. We hope that you will consider "joining" us.


I'd like to remind you that if you ever have any questions or concerns, or positive feedback to share, please feel free to reach out to the Program Manager, Director of Services, or designed Associate Vice President for your loved one's program. You can also reach our Vice President of Services, Fresia Skoczypec at fskoczypec@alternativesinc.org, or you can reach me directly at ngood@alternativesinc.org.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.


Nancy Good

Nancy Good, MSW, LSW
President, Alternatives, Inc.

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