SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood Office on Aging has been closed since the borough declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus threat in New Jersey. However, the closure hasn't stopped Director Donna Faulkenberry and her staff from caring for the senior population. Faulkenberry posts daily on the Spotswood Office on Aging's Facebook page to provide seniors with important information as well as ways to connect like Friday's virtual tour of the San Diego Zoo. Despite the frequent online activity of the office, she was still concerned about the seniors without internet access.
To spread some smiles and reconnect with seniors Faulkenberry and the staff have not been able to see, the Spotswood Office on Aging put together a caravan on Thursday to drive by the homes of senior residents. Using the OOA's bus and individual cars, the group did a tour through the borough. Following social distancing guidelines, Faulkenberry and her staff spoke to senior residents from their cars, staying within the recommended six feet distance.
"With many seniors not on social media or even online," Faulkenberry said. "We felt the need to connect somehow."
Much-needed smiles and laughs were shared on both ends as the caravan made its way around the borough on Thursday. Spotswood resident Barbara Cottrell waited on her front steps for the caravan with her daughter. The pair made a lawn sign welcoming the visit. Cottrell is a retired Spotswood School District Music teacher who also volunteers her time with the Spotswood Office on Aging.
"Thanks to all our friends who came out to say hello," Faulkenberry wrote in a Facebook post. "You have no idea how much we needed this! You look wonderful, we're grateful you're safe, and we hope we brought some fun to your day."
*Have a positive story to share about neighbors helping neighbors or a community-wide project to help spread smiles during the coronavirus crisis? Email TAPinto Milltown/Spotswood at email@example.com.