In Member Spotlight

Southern Ocean Chamber Close-up is a brief introspective on why our members do what they do. Professional stories, mission moments and customers who made the difference; this is their time to share why their business or non-profit makes an impact in the LBI Region. If you are a new member (within the last year) and want to share your story, contact [email protected] to be featured.

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Interfaith Health & Support Services is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which provides physical, emotional and spiritual support to those living at home who are vulnerable due to old age or disability. Interfaith is a coalition of many faith based communities South of Lacey Rd to Little Egg Harbor and is supported through grants and private donations.

The organization helps to transport seniors to medical appointments, assists with grocery shopping, visits with the homebound, provides respite to caregivers and provides weekly reassurance calls. Director, Janice Schalek, became involved with Interfaith when she moved to Manahawkin with her husband five years ago. “When I met the Board of Directors and learned about their dedication to this community, I was humbled and wanted to learn as much as I could to help seniors in need,” she shared.

Both Schalek’s parents served as caretakers for people in need, which inspired her to be of service. She also understands the challenges of caring for sickly loved ones first-hand, having taken care of her two parents after they were diagnosed with dementia. “Every day, I am inspired by the 250+ Interfaith volunteers who help seniors and their caregivers, in our community,” Schalek added.

“Our mission is to put God’s love into action by promoting wellness, independence and alleviation of loneliness. Most importantly, we help keep Seniors in their home. Three clients of Interfaith reached their 100th birthday, celebrating in their home. Our client’s average age is increasing,” she continued. Another characteristic that sets Interfaith apart is that unlike taxi services, volunteers stay with seniors through their doctor’s appointment to their front doors, and they also provide support during the doctor’s appointments.

Schalek also enjoys the collaborative environment at the organization. “We all look out for each other. Our volunteers love working with other volunteers and have gained lasting friendships. I leave work every day knowing I helped another senior. I love the diversity and meeting new community members, Pastors or neighbors every day,” she remarked.

Want more information? Check out their website at:, or get involved in one of their upcoming events, see below.

Dine to Donate at Elements Restaurant on Wednesday 9/12/18
Anytime from 11AM – 9PM.
Early bird special.

Hackensack Meridian Community Outreach
St Mary’s Parish Center in Manahawkin on Thursday, 9/13/18
11AM -12PM, light refreshments.

Dine to Donate at Manera’s Restaurant on Wednesday, 12/5/18
Anytime from 12PM – 8PM
Early bird special.

Designer Bag Bingo event at St. Mary’s Parish in Manahawkin.
Date to Follow.