OMAHA, Neb., June 5, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Clark Paradise, an 85-year-old volunteer from Toms River, N.J., who founded a growing mission for the homeless in his community, has been honored as the national winner of the Home Instead Senior Care® network's Salute to Senior Service(SM) award.
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors. The Salute to Senior Service program was launched this year by the network to honor seniors' commitments to their causes and communities. A $5,000 gift will be donated by Home Instead, Inc., to Your Grandmother's Cupboard in honor of Clark's dedicated service. He was selected from 1,549 nominees nationwide and judged from among state finalists by Dr. Erwin Tan, director of the Senior Corps.
Paradise is being recognized for his dedicated community service in which thousands of homeless and nearly homeless families and individuals are helped every month in New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. Seven years ago, he and his wife Jean began gathering and distributing basic-needs items to homeless people in three camps near Lakewood, N.J.
"One Friday about 10 years ago, the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to do something about the poor people living in the motels and in tents here, people who have virtually nothing at all and really need help," Paradise said.
As the endeavor grew larger, it was named Your Grandmother's Cupboard, and its bases of operations are in the New Jersey cities of Toms River, Phillipsburg and Wayne. Through these three sites, Your Grandmother's Cupboard serves an additional 20 locations throughout New Jersey and 1,200 people a month. What should have been a quiet retirement for Paradise and his wife has turned into full-time volunteer jobs.
President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Huber of Home Instead, Inc. applauded Paradise's well-organized and extensive outreach, pointing out that Paradise, his wife and their volunteers visit more than 25 soup kitchens, shelters and motels every month while traveling with a trailer full of donated clothes, blankets, books, food and toiletries. "Clark is making a significant impact on his community, which makes him a senior hero to many," Huber said.
"While others may be slowing down and resting on their laurels because of their age, Clark and Jean work tirelessly to serve the forgotten and ignored in our society – with a smile and without judgment," said Jane Marion, church relations director at United Methodist Homes of New Jersey and one of many who nominated Paradise. "Clark and Jean prove that when it comes to being useful and productive, age is meaningless. Clark and Your Grandmother's Cupboard are completely deserving of this award," Marion added.
"The $5,000 that comes with this honor is another answer to prayer for us," Clark said. "It can buy gasoline, toilet paper and other supplies to help those who really need it. This comes at an opportune time for our ministry and provides me with even more encouragement for the future. I hope I have another five years left, and I want to be able to cover the rest of the state of New Jersey with what we're doing for the Lord."
As one of 50 state winners announced by Home Instead, Inc., Paradise had earlier earned a spot in the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame on the SalutetoSeniorService.com website where his nomination story also has been posted.
For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network's Salute to Senior Service program, visit SalutetoSeniorService.com.
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 900 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 40 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy and Puerto Rico. The Home Instead Senior Care network employs more than 65,000 CAREGivers(SM) worldwide who provide basic support services – activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care