The Clifton community is rallying to support a local center for adults with disabilities that is “ready to close its doors” due to financial struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The North Jersey Elks Developmental Disabilities Agency (NJEDDA) has suffered a serious financial burden since the start of the pandemic, according to a GoFundMe launched by several parents of adults in its 21+ program.
In addition to providing services to more than 45 adults with a range of developmental disabilities, the center maintains vans for transportation assistance and other specialized equipment for ongoing support, the fundraiser says.
“This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were almost ready to close the doors on our Adult Children as the pandemic has put a financial burden on NJEDDA to the extent that we were ready to close,” reads the fundraiser.
“If we close that would extremely hurt our Children as there are very few places our adults can attend, and many have waiting lists that are very long. We don’t want our children, no matter how old or what disabilities they have, to have to sit at home watching tv and not have much socialization.”
More than $20,000 had been raised by nearly 160 donors as of Wednesday morning since the page’s creation on March 15.
The donations will be used to fund the center’s ongoing expenses and ensure it remains accessible.
“The Center is our children’s second family and it’s where our children learn daily living skills, community involvement, receive physical, occupational, speech therapies, nursing services and socialization with their friends, which is so very important to their well-being,” the fundraiser says.
“Our children have had so many doors close on them throughout their life, we want to keep this one OPEN! So, if you can find it in your heart to donate anything at all, words are hard to express how thankful we are, but this truly means the world to all of us.”
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