OceanFirst awards $10,000 grant for Special Needs Vaccine Clinic

April 01, 2021

Recognizing the need to address health disparities and support the special needs community, the OceanFirst Foundation and OceanFirst Bank have granted $10,000 to Autism New Jersey for its Special Needs Vaccine Clinic, recently launched in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey (VNACJ).

The autism and I/DD community has been hit hard by the pandemic and is especially vulnerable.  With challenges in both finding vaccine appointments and addressing the special accommodations needed by many, OceanFirst’s support of this project is making a tangible difference.

The project came together rather quickly when Autism New Jersey was introduced to Christopher Rinn, Executive Director of VNACJ, by Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Jr. (R-13), who represents the district where the Holmdel-based clinic is located.  OceanFirst Foundation’s established leadership and support of local community made them an ideal partner.

“We recognized that the project would be a substantial undertaking for our small staff, but one that we couldn’t refuse,” noted Ellen Schisler, Autism New Jersey’s Associate Executive Director. “It was a calling.  OceanFirst stepping in as a benefactor is key to allowing us to continue this important work.  We are grateful they saw its value.”

So far to date, more than 700 have preregistered for the Clinic and approximately 250 have been vaccinated.  For more information about the clinic, e-mail vaccine@autismnj.org