Volunteering offers opportunities for individuals to change lives, including their own. Bob Eodice, SAGE Eldercare's September Volunteer of the Month, provides a perfect example of working on behalf of others. But Bob's story is different because while volunteering at SAGE, one of the oldest eldercare agencies in New Jersey, he is also a member of Opportunity Project, Inc., a not-for-profit organization located in Milburn which was created by and for adults with brain injuries.

Twice a week for nearly a year, Bob has been helping in the Volunteer Office at SAGE with clerical tasks that include Microsoft Word and Excel data entry, internet (web) research, spreadsheet input and various other office responsibilities. His performance and attitude are outstanding, thanks to his self motivation and the fact that he's been a member of Opportunity Project since 2008. He joined the organization following a long recovery from a terrible auto accident. In the summer of 2001, Bob was struck by a car while walking on the side of the road and suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury, while also enduring severe injuries to his shattered legs. On the way to the hospital, he was pronounced DOA.

Following years of surgeries and rehabilitation, Bob is walking-- a testimony to his unyielding motivation. Prior to the accident, Bob worked in the construction business for over thirty years. Today, he eagerly applies his strong work ethic to acquiring new and different job skills in order to accomplish his goal of reentering the workforce. Opportunity Project's vocational program and its alliance with SAGE Eldercare are helping Bob reach his objective: taking the "next step" of recovery by seeking and hopefully finding employment in a clerical setting.

"Bob's enthusiasm and ability to embrace his changes and new self are absolutely amazing and an inspiration to everyone who works with him," says Arlene Lieberman, Vocational Counselor at Opportunity Project. "He has proven to have strong and desirable clerical skills, and we are so appreciative of our relationship with SAGE Eldercare for providing a chance for Bob to volunteer in their offices and help him to redefine himself and learn new skills to use in the work place."

Marianne Kranz, Director of Volunteers at SAGE Eldercare, is also very impressed by Bob's interest in taking on new projects and his willingness to help others. "Although Bob uses a walker and has limited use of his right hand, his cheerful personality and determination offset his disabilities and make him very valuable. He is one of the most conscientious volunteers we've ever had. Unquestionably, Bob is very deserving of being named SAGE's September Volunteer of the Month."

If you or a group you belong to are interested in volunteering for SAGE Eldercare please contact Marianne Kranz, at 908-598-5514 or email Marianne at mkranz@sageeldercare.org. If interested in finding out more about Bob and Opportunity Project's Employment Team, please call Arlene Lieberman at 973-921-1000 ext. 109 for further information.