The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of many annual fundraising campaigns that nonprofits rely on to support their important work. For nonprofits such as CBH Care, which serves the behavioral and mental health needs of consumers and their families in Bergen County and the surrounding area, the cancellation of its Annual Culinary Adventure Gala could have meant the postponement of important targeted upgrades to facilities.
In particular, CBH Care’s Kearny Adolescent Residential Experience (KARE), a community-based residential treatment program designed to assist adolescents with serious psychiatric issues, was in need of upgrades in comfort for the 15-17 year olds who reside there. The KARE residence, which was re-sided several years ago, was in need of upgrades to furniture, bedding and other amenities which it was hoped the gala would help fund.
When the event was cancelled, however, it looked like the upgrades might have to wait another year. But leaders in the organization were determined to make these important upgrades for the children.
“Even though our Annual Culinary Adventure was cancelled, we still supported the project as we thought it was of the highest importance,” said KARE program coordinator, Rafaella Bartels, MA, LPC. “Children live there, and their surroundings should be welcoming and comfortable, particularly now that their schooling is remote.” In normal times, KARE adolescents attend a state-approved school for adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties; the school is administered by the Department of Children and Families.
To fill the need left by the cancellation of the Culinary Adventure Gala, CBH Care supporters stepped in by donating new common area furniture and bedding, as well as other amenities to make living in the home more comfortable and welcoming to residents, visitors, and support services. “It’s important for the residents that they are able to keep connections with family, and take their first step back to their families and communities,” Bartels said. “Having a more welcoming residence while they receive support can help their progress in a big way.”
For KARE residents, the generosity and commitment to their care was plainly demonstrated by the many CBH Care supporters who filled the urgent need for modernization at their residence. Having a more comfortable space to live, study, and receive love and respect can only help their progress as they participate in their therapy programs.