NJ.Com (New Jersey) (02.14.13)
For the fourth consecutive year, extended-care residents from the Gardens at Seabrook living community assembled valentines for people living with HIV/AIDS in Monmouth County, N.J. Approximately 50 residents participated in the service project, spreading love and prayer to the community, according to Lynn Harper, Gardens at Seabrook’s chaplain. Even though many Gardens residents are physically limited, they still want to give back to the greater community. Jennifer Courlas, administrator at the Gardens at Seabrook, declared, “This is one of many programs and services that not only help others, but help our residents because they know that they are making a difference.”
The residents filled the valentine packages with items such as lip balm, candy, tissues, pens, and crackers, with each item representing a “fun” meaning, explains Harper. For instance, the packages contained chocolate candy because people deserve chocolate on Valentine’s Day, and lip balm because it is winter. The interfaith group prayed as they put the packages together. The Gardens at Seabrook also collected food and hygiene products, which they added to the valentine packages. Harper stated that the packages were delivered before Valentine’s Day to the Center in Asbury Park, a volunteer-based nonprofit that offers nutrition programs, housing, education, referral services, and transportation to those living with HIV/AIDS.