AECDC Saves and Changes Lives
Recently, the AECDC has obtained housing and support for a teen Mom and her three-week old child and secured medical coverage for a chronically ill senior citizen. In addition, we were visited by a child we helped eight years ago, who is now attending college and wants to us his newly learned skills to help us help others. Click here to read each of these real stories and see how our vital work saves and changes the lives of our clients.
AECDC and State Farm Insurance Company Provide Car Seats to Expectant Mothers
On September 16th AECDC offered its third class of the year to train young, expectant mothers on car seat installation and safety. The class was organized and conducted by Norka Torres, the AECDC Program Director, and Cookie Rivera, a certified national car seat trainer.
This car seat program is sponsored by a grant from State Farm Insurance Company. The funding included the car seats, training on how to use them and refreshments. The class was attended by Jennifer Young, State Farm's Public Affair Specialist. She enthusiastically shared with the group how much she learned during a previous session and how useful it had been with her own children, ages 3 and 5.
The basic object of the class is to teach the future parents how to choose and implement the donated car seats for infants through toddlers. Ms. Rivera also teaches how to choose and use the second stage car seat and booster seat in compliance with New Jersey state law regulating car seats for children from infancy to five years old. Ms. Rivera also taught the participants how to correctly and safely install the car seats to prevent a child from being injured.
Twenty-six expectant mothers took part in the class (several others had just given birth and were unable to attend). Many of the women are under 19 and are new drivers. About 95% are at the poverty level or at risk of poverty. Most of them are not working and many live with their parents who are at or near the poverty level. This group of women was referred to the program by the New Brunswick High School Pixie Program and the Eric B. Chandler Health Center. Participants can also be referred to the program from collaborating agencies throughout Middlesex County. In the future, more workshops will be held to provide additional expectant mothers with car seats and training.
In addition to AECDC volunteers, there were some college students who assisted during the program. They also benefited from the experience and talked about using what they learned with siblings and other children in their families.
AECDC ASSISTS SCHOOL CHILDREN
For the 2014-2015 school year, the AECDC has assisted local needy school children in various ways. An anonymous private donor contributed $200 to provide school uniforms for those families that could not afford them. The Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Foundation also gave $200, which provided uniforms for another group of children. The Foundation also gave book bags with school supplies to these recipients. The New Brunswick Police Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) donated $150, enabling us to provide uniforms for a third group of students. A local church provided funding for age-appropriate school supplies for this third group of students.
AECDC HELPS CLIENTS OBTAIN MEDICAL INSURANCE
From July 1 2014 through September 1 2014, the AECDC staff assisted 33 clients with Medicaid applications. Only two of these applications were denied. Thus, 31 clients obtained medical insurance through our efforts.