Some Interesting Volunteer Opportunities

January 2010 -- The Middlesex County Improvement Authority has a number of volunteer positions within its various departments. If you have the time, the opportunities to help those less fortunate are there, and you can use your individual talents and interests to improve your community.

Consider the following for ROOSEVELT CARE CENTER in Edison:

Religious Services – There are regularly-scheduled religious services in both the historic building and Parsonage Road buildings in Roosevelt Park. Volunteers are needed to transport residents to and from services, to help in the set up and in some cases, to actively plan and facilitate the services.

One-on-One Visits – There are a number of long term care residents at Roosevelt who have no families in the Central New Jersey area. They appreciate weekly one-on-one visits with volunteers. The activities for these visits can range from a friendly chat in the day room, or attending a facility event with the resident, or playing a board game or just helping out at mealtime.

Trips and Special Activities – If you are unable to volunteer at a set time and day, you may be interested in volunteering to accompany residents on various trips planned by the Recreation Dept. Residents visit restaurants, shopping malls, sports events, county events for seniors and so much more. Volunteers help make these trips a success.

Pet Therapy – Roosevelt residents love to see animals, and pet therapy volunteers do not have to be part of an organized pet-visiting program to participate. Anyone with a generous heart and a well-behaved pet is welcome. There are a few state guidelines that must be followed—for example, owners of cats and dogs must present a current vaccination certificate.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities, you can call Joanne Franklin, Director of Recreation at 732-321-6800 ext. 3218 or email her at You can also call Peggy Schmerker, a volunteer who helps coordinate volunteer activities at 732-321-6800 ext. 3323.

Barbara E. Cheung Memorial Hospice – Hospice volunteers attend 20 hours of training with the hospice social worker. There are a wide variety of volunteer duties ranging from direct visits with patients and families to clerical duties. Some volunteers have used their special talents such as guitar-playing, knitting/crocheting, and pet owners have brought their pets in for visits. Contact hospice social worker Englide Cajuste at 732-321-9335.

You can also give some time to aid M.C.F.O.O.D.S., the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services---- Middlesex County’s food bank. M.C.F.O.O.D.S. organizes food drives and establishes permanent collection sites for donated items, and in turn supplies food, personal products and baby items to more than 70 local soup kitchens and food pantries in the county. Volunteers are needed from time to time to sort food at the warehouse on Jersey Ave. in New Brunswick. Volunteers are needed also to distribute food bags for designated food drives. Volunteers are especially needed to organize local food drives. For more details, call Jennifer Apostol at 609-409-5033 or email her at

FIRST TEE – The MCIA manages 4 county golf courses at 3 locations. For two years, the MCIA has partnered with First Tee of Middlesex to foster life skills for county youth through the game of golf, and Tamarack Golf Course in East Brunswick hosts a number of golf sessions with kids from age 5 to 18. Prospective volunteers with an interest and some skills in golf can contact Mike Blackwell, Executive Director at 732-247-0819 or email him at You can also visit First Tee’s web site at