Stars In The Community A Spotlight on “Superheroes” in the Community
These South Jersey individuals are reshaping and impacting their communities little by little, using their skills and inspirations to help others around them. Meet a handful of the local “superheroes” in your community that are doing their part to make South Jersey a great place to call home.
Volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey
When Richard Prince was only six years old, he knew two things for sure: he loved the ocean and he wanted to be a teacher. As a resident of Northfield, Richard recently retired from the educational field, having spent 35 years serving children as a teacher and guidance counselor in Atlantic City. Every day, Richard was responsible for helping students and their families manage circumstances that were at times daunting, sometimes overwhelming and always affected the child academically. He says he was lucky to have the support of his principal and fellow educators whenever he came up with an idea of how to create a sense of community by engaging everyone. Richard’s only goal was to “have empathy and to teach others how to show empathy… to treat somebody as if he or she was a member of your own family.” It is no wonder that Richard is now volunteering for Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, a Camden-based non-profit that supports families of sick children while they are being treated for life-threatening illnesses. As a volunteer, Richard brings his sense of calm and dedication to efficiency and hard work to his task of driving families to hospital appointments and will soon begin serving at the Ronald McDonald Family Room located within AtlantiCare. Richard believes in the power of family and says “there is nothing more important or of worthy of sacrifice.” Richard does not view retirement as a time to relax – to him, every day he is alive is a day to make a positive impact. A father of two successful children, Richard and his wife, Donna consider a good day to be one where they scavenge for sea glass (which they use to make outdoor décor), spend time with their family and enjoy a meal at The Anchorage Tavern in Somers Point.
For more information, call 856-966-4663 or visit www.ronaldhouse-snj.org.
Coordinator for the Spring Senior Fair Expo
Beverly Zaccherio is the owner of Senior Solutions for the Jersey Shore LLC, a four-year-old company that provides both light home services to seniors as well as affordable consulting to help seniors and their families navigate to the different support resources available to them in the area. “Many seniors want to stay in their homes and strive to enable that,” she says. After being downsized from her longtime marketing position at a leading crystal manufacturer in 2008, Beverly Zaccherio decided to reinvent herself professionally with a job in the health care industry. “I became a certified home health aide because it offered the flexible hours I needed to raise my then two-year-old son,” explained the Connecticut native and 36-year Point Pleasant resident. “I enjoyed interacting with people and ended up working at a number of state and other at-home agencies as well as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As a result, Zaccherio believed that more needed to be done for families. “I felt that there should be a company that could help bring it all together for families and coordinate care for seniors at an affordable price,” she said, officially launching her Point Pleasant-based response – Senior Solutions for the Jersey Shore LLC– in 2013. Zaccherio prides herself on consulting with and educating families who are often ‘emotionally overwhelmed’ by their elderly loved one’s situation. “I’ve taught a course for over three years at Ocean County College’s Adult Education program called ‘Lifestyle Changes: Coping & Caring for Seniors,’ through which I discuss the local programs and financial resources available for seniors, the differences between options like assisted living, nursing homes and in-home care, and the questions families need to ask,” said Zaccherio, who also presents her seminar at local churches, libraries and community centers. “Families often don’t discuss issues like preventative management before a crisis and only first make decisions for their loved one when they’re in panic mode, such as when their mother is being released from the hospital the next day, so I’ll listen and talk to them based on my opinion and experience,” she said.
For more information, call 732-456-0974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 28