Tag Archives: volunteer

Fabulous Female – Kirsten Corley

This month’s Fabulous Female, is Kirsten Corley! Kirsten attended Stockton State, and after graduating ,worked in NY as a writer and Editorial Director. Kirsten also wrote a book about relationship lifestyles and mental health. In her spare time Kirsten would also  volunteer for fun.  In the summer of 2018, she turned that into a career by becoming the Development Associate at Covenant House. She works out of the Covenant House crisis center, in Newark NJ, coordinating young professional volunteers.

Covenant House is a non-profit organization that helps homeless and trafficked youth transition from off the streets to leading stable lives. Covenant House focuses on jobs, education and teaching youth fundamental basics with a goal of eventually living on their own.  The non-profit is currently in 32 different cities, in 6 different countries and serves up to 80,000 youth every year

Kirsten was prompted to become involved with Covenant House when she participated in a Sleep Out event in 2014.  ‘Sleep Out’ is a movement that asks individuals to sleep outside the Covenant Shelter for the night with a box and sleeping bag.  This event raises money, and brings awareness to the problem that is youth homelessness in today’s society.  

Kirsten’s main focus is to get homeless kids off the streets. She feels that when kids have the courage to walk through the Covenant House doors and admit they need help, it is her job and obligation to make sure they get where they deserve to be and have the opportunity at a great life.

In what little spare time she has, Kirsten attends public speaking events to talk about the work she does.  She also finds time to write on the side and likes to train for half and full marathons. She is constantly juggling all of her responsibilities, but feels that to be her best self means taking care of herself and striving to do things that make her happy.

As a young woman in today’s society Kirsten finds that at times there are challenges with some people taking her seriously.  She doesn’t allow this to be an obstacle, because she has a strong group of women supporting and encouraging her.  Her opinion is that right now it’s the time for women to both “drive and thrive in their careers” and that there is nothing that, with the right support and frame of mind, we can’t do.

Kirsten stays so organized with everything she’s juggling, day to day by utilizing lists. She also utilizes the calendar on her phone religiously. On Sundays she outlines her week, and writes down how her time should be spent. Her philosophy is about focusing on the here and now… which will eventually get her to where she wants to be.

I asked Kirsten how anyone can become involved and give back to their community, when donating monetarily may not be an option. Kirsten stated there are many opportunities at Covenant House, to volunteer, and getting in touch with her can be the first step. While it may be intimidating for someone to volunteer, not knowing what they are getting into, it is also the most rewarding experience.  You can check the Covenant House website for the next Sleep Out event or even to just donate!

NJ Pediatric Dentists Provide Free Dental Care for Kids

In connection with National Children’s Dental Health Month, New Jersey’s very own renowned Family Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Cavan Brunsden, continues his 17 year quest to provide access to dental care for underprivileged children, by managing and participating in Give Kids a Smile. As the chairman of the New Jersey Dental Association committee for Give Kids A Smile, Brunsden continues personal strides to ensure that every year those in need have an opportunity to seek the dental treatment that everyone deserves for their children.

Give Kids a Smile is an annual, FREE one-day only donated dental service program which delivers preventive and restorative dental services for under-served children throughout NJ communities and beyond. Dr. Brunsden and his KidZdent pediatric dental team once again have hosted this remarkable event which took place on Friday, February 1, 2019 at their Old Bridge office location.

“Children are our future and their dental health is very important. For almost two decades, the New Jersey ‘GIVE KIDS A SMILE’ volunteer program has delivered complimentary dental care to over 50,000 children totaling over $7 Million dollars,” Dr. Brunsden insights. “This remarkable program has introduced many children and their families to the world of preventive dental care, affording them the opportunity to achieve lifelong, healthy smiles.  I am so proud of the efforts put forth by all of the volunteer dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and professional staff who have truly transformed the lives of so many children.  Children deserve to have a smile that lights up the world around them – and we are proud to create them,” he exclaimed!

Along with their highly-skilled team of dental professionals and administrators donating their expertise and time to this wonderful achievement, other volunteers recognized that they were also encouraging others to enrich their own lives by giving back- a top priority in KidZdent’s true mission!  It’s about action, but it’s also about a establishing a feeling and connection with one another.

Give Kids A Smile has not only attracted dentists and practices from across the Garden State to join in on the fun, but would not have been complete without the help of other local businesses like BAGEL BOY in Old Bridge who contributed a delicious, healthy breakfast for all of the volunteers.

KidZ Hub Media was onsite filming LIVE broadcasts with KidZdent staff and patients throughout the day. The celebration really turned into an impactful occasion for everyone who walked through the door.

Swimming in sea of brightly colored balloons, children were greeted in the waiting area by face painters, Chompster (KidZdent’s beloved mascot) and even the Tooth Fairy who flew in special, making a rare guest appearance on their Red Carpet for some photo-ops. This wasn’t just your average appointment in the office, which current patients have already compared to as ‘delivering a Disneyland of Dentistry’ type of experience.  This was a momentous sentiment in pediatric dentistry.

With #GKAS trending across all social media platforms, New Jersey’s own can see for themselves the countless smiling faces, selfies and uplifting moments of the day. Aside from the friendly give-a-ways, and of course dental treatment, every child left with their personal goodie bag filled with tools, prizes, and other educational materials to continue proper dental care at home. In New Jersey, this program is sustained by Colgate, Henry Schein Dental, Delta Dental of NJ and other privately funded donations.

“To me, this is more than just a statewide initiative. It’s a national movement- especially during these difficult times for many families who are struggling and the political divide when it comes to access to optimal healthcare… I am so inspired to be surrounded by a group of people who are leading other individuals down a idealistic path and ensuring that we practice what we preach when it comes to being ‘Jersey Strong’ or ‘Jersey Pride’. ” said one volunteer. 

This program was open to children (ages 12 and younger), lacking dental coverage or those with low-grade insurance policies. These children were able to receive a comprehensive dental examination, oral health instructions, fluoride treatments, and complimentary dental hygiene materials, including toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste.

Last February, in New Jersey alone, over 2,000 children visited nearly 100 sites across the state, including private dental offices just like Dr. Brunsden’s. As we await the results for 2019 from the NJDA, all of the volunteers feel accomplished after another successful year- exceeding expectations. Dr. Brunsden and his volunteer staff hope to leave a lasting sentiment by helping to bring awareness for even more dental practices in New Jersey to join in for next year!

*Dr. Cavan Brunsden has been highly accredited in practicing dentistry for more than 38 years.  KidZdent is located at 2455 Route 516 Old Bridge, New Jersey.

Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen: Free Meals for Furloughed Employees

As the government shutdown surpasses the thirty-day mark, furloughed federal employees continue to go without pay. Yesterday, thanks to rock legend Jon Bon Jovi and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, some of those employees received a helping hand in the form of a free meal and some much-needed comradery.

Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey, served up more than 70 free meals to furloughed workers and their families. The two-hour event provided soup, an entree and a dessert, and was sponsored by Gov. Phil Murphy’s organization, the Philip and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation. The governor and his wife were in attendance to talk with diners.

Soul Kitchen is an eatery that provides organic and locally grown food to its patrons. According to their site, Soul Kitchen encourages customers who can pay to provide a $20 donation for their meal. Their Pay It Forward Program uses any additional donations to cover the cost of providing meals for those who are unable to donate.

Along with a free, multi-course meal, furloughed employees were able to enjoy each other’s company. Dining with others who understand their struggle in a family-like atmosphere was a welcome change.

One patron remarked that the first thing she would like to do upon the end of the shutdown, is to return to the restaurant and pay it forward.  

A second lunch will be offered tomorrow, January 23  from noon to 2pm at Soul Kitchen’s second location in Toms River, New Jersey. Any employee wishing to participate in the event is asked to bring proof of federal employment.

Looking for a way to help? You can volunteer your time at the Red Bank or Toms River locations. You can also make a tax-deductible donation to The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.