Grantee Blog 2020

Positivity Prevails Through the Pandemic

Always find the silver linings. COVID-19 has impacted the state and it’s communities in immeasurable ways, and many are anxious to get back to a sense of normalcy. The Toms River Field of Dreams is in the works, and it will offer plentiful opportunities for individuals with disabilities to feel “typical”, as founder Christian Kane envisions a place for this community to feel totally at peace and welcomed. This complex will bring joy and a sense of community back after the rough times of social distancing end. What else could be more beneficial to social and mental health than to be warmly welcomed to a complex supporting those in your community who are similar to you? Spring is a time of renewal, and the TRFOD is the perfect place to feel renewed upon its grand opening next Spring.

The OCHD is planning to offer services at this complex regularly which will support social well-being, encourage physical health, and assist in screening for chronic health issues common in individuals with disabilities. In partnership with the TRFOD, this community will not only have access to fun but they along with their families and friends will have the opportunity to become the healthiest versions of themselves. Some health services offered may involve screening for diabetes and hypertension, as these are common chronic health issues in this population. The most recent work towards preparing for the opening of this complex has been making contacts and community partnerships in order to get the word out about this amazing complex. When it is up and running, the OCHD will be fully prepared with scheduled health workshops, educational materials, and organized events to work side by side with and guide individuals with disabilities in all aspects of health.

This complex will provide a peaceful place for families and organizations who simply want their loved ones with disabilities to have somewhere special they can comfortably go to learn, grow, and play. The TRFOD accomplishes all of these things, plus more. In the past few weeks, the Ocean County Health Department was able to work directly with Christian Kane to provide him with the grant money for use in this project. It will be used towards building a zip line as well as a community garden at this complex. The zip line offers an opportunity for individuals to be active as well as engage with others in a social aspect. Community gardening will supplement healthy eating habits as well as assist with motor skills in some individuals who would like to work on keeping this garden thriving and fruitful. Alongside this, the OCHD will offer educational workshops on topics related to nutrition and active living in order to help this community fully benefit from the amazing garden being created at TRFOD.

About the Grantee

Ocean County Health Department

In partnership with our community, we are committed to serving as a leader to promote healthy lifestyles, ensure a clean and safe environment, and provide high-quality public health services to protect our present and future generations.