Every November, residents of Seabrook look forward to the annual Turkey Trot, which began in 1998, the year the community opened. This year the popular event at the Erickson Senior Living community in Tinton Falls, NJ, raised more than $7,500 for three local organizations, the Bradley Beach Food Pantry, Interfaith Neighbors, and Lunch Break.
Typically, more than 200 residents participate, either by walking, jogging, or donating. Runners and walkers lace up their sneakers and wind their way from the great lawn through the Village Center, ending at the courtyard, which houses the putting green, miniature golf course and playground.
Once the last participant crosses the finish line, holiday giving begins in earnest.
A Legacy of Giving
For members of Seabrook’s Protestant community, giving back is a shared value. The group gives year-round to more than 15 charities outside of Seabrook. And every holiday season, they choose one organization to support with their time, talents, and treasure.
This year the Protestant community partnered with Aslan Youth Ministries, an organization based in Red Bank and named for the lion in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books. Aslan’s mission focuses on at-risk youth in Monmouth County, primarily in Red Bank, Asbury Park, and Long Branch. (They also sponsor a mission in Haiti.)
Through a variety of programs, Aslan offers tutoring and mentoring, teaches life skills, leadership, and values, and provides enrichment field trips and summer camps, all with the goal of improving the lives of economically disadvantaged young people.
According to Carol Heaver, a Protestant council member, “Aslan has a very inspirational program, and we like the fact that they help youth from the local area,” she says. This year the Protestant community donated $1,500, which covered the cost of a Christmas meal and gift for 30 children in the Aslan program.
She adds that the Protestant council is encouraging Aslan to recommend teens who might do well as student servers at Seabrook’s dining venues. Seabrook employs students from local high schools, providing work experience, income, and opportunities to earn college scholarships through the resident-funded scholarship program.
The Protestant community also has given generously to military support organizations. The group has provided holiday gifts to the children of military families through ARMS, the American Recreational Military Services. This year they worked with Soldier On, a new housing initiative for 70 veterans, located next to Seabrook on Essex Road in Tinton Falls. In addition to housing, the veterans receive a range of support services and a path to eventual homeownership. The Protestant community donated enough money to purchase all the household goods for two apartments.
Says Carol, “These projects are such a meaningful way to give back. We were glad to participate and are always seeking new ways to make an impact in the local area.”
In addition to the Protestant community, other religious and various resident-run clubs find meaningful ways to contribute to the surrounding community throughout the year. Residents volunteer at local charities, organize toy and food drives, participate in walks to raise money for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and much more.
“Not only in this holiday season, but throughout the year, Seabrook residents enthusiastically provide support to a variety of local organizations who work with the most vulnerable in our community. Through hands-on involvement and financial assistance, our residents touch the lives of countless people through their generosity,” says Pastoral Ministries Manager David Bowman.
Erickson Senior Living’s Director of Operations, Jeff Watson, notes that the depth and breadth of giving within the local community is making a significant impact. “Our residents give so much and get so much in return for their generosity. This spirit of kindness radiates throughout our campuses and enables those who call Seabrook home to make a joyful difference in the lives of so many.”
Consider being part of a strong and caring senior living community like Seabrook. Beautiful walking paths, gardens, resort-style amenities, an on-site medical center staffed by full-time medical professionals, and new friends await. Request a brochure or a visit now!