Christel Aviles, KRA/Camden Job Coach, reported, “Every 40 seconds, someone suffers from a stroke! As part of KRA Corporation’s 5th Annual Community Care Day Campaign…a 2013 Support Our Local Hospitals initiative…KRA/Camden decided to reach out to a group of individuals who demonstrate exceptional strength and courage on a daily basis: stroke survivors.”
Aviles, who served as KRA/Camden’s CCDC Coordinator, continued, “To accomplish our goal, we teamed up with Davida Godett*, Founder of Healthy Thoughts, who knows first-hand the needs of this inspiring group of people…as she herself is a three-time stroke survivor! Shower Me with Love, a Healthy Thoughts service project, provides stroke survivors with personal-care products when they are being discharged from the hospital to return home, or in many cases to a rehabilitation facility, to continue their recovery.”
Anita Davis, Program Manager for KRA/Camden**, commented, “After meeting Davida Godett…who is an internationally recognized speaker on the stroke awareness…at a KRA/Camden Open House, we felt compelled to support the Shower Me With Love project. Most of the time, stroke patients are in the hospital, or in rehabilitation, for so long they exhaust the toiletries supplied by the facility. Also, they often do not have the ability to open large items, which makes toiletry-size products even more appreciated. When you are presented with the ideal opportunity to be of service to this very special population of our community, you have to do it! So, to support Ms. Godett’s program, we decided to put together 100 “KRA Kits” filled with deodorant, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, soap, and a staff photo-collage card that we created, and to distribute them to stroke patients at Cooper Hospital in the heart of our Camden community.”
When asked what was the source of funds for purchasing the items, Aviles responded, “When Alyssa Wiles, President of Camden Day Nursery, one of KRA/Camden’s Community Work Experience Program partners, learned of our CCDC goal, she offered to partner with us to support the initiative. With combined contributions from KRA/Camden and Camden Day Nursery, we raised more than $400 to purchase the toiletries for the kits!” After they were distributed at Cooper Hospital, Godett stated, ‘We are truly thankful for KRA Corporation supporting our initiative to help stroke survivors on the next leg of their journey of recovery.”
Davis concluded, “Stroke is something that has the potential to impact each of us in some way. Being able to create a partnership with our CWEP site and Healthy Thoughts was an excellent way to not only help others, but also learn about stroke awareness.”
* According to LinkedIn, Godett is an “Energetic and highly effective motivated spiritual leader. Survivor by nature and educator to all, Davida’s passion and purpose is to spread stroke awareness and attack the silent killer that cripples our nation. She stresses the importance of knowing your health history and understanding the dynamics of a stroke so that ‘you can be a survivor’ just like her.” Godett’s alma mater, Strayer University, bestowed upon her an Outstanding Alumni Award, which recognizes and honors an accomplished graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his/her professional, public, or personal life. Godett was also presented a special Three Time Stroke Survivor, Motivational Speaker, Outstanding Community Service Award by the Hudson County [NJ] Board of Chosen Freeholders, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Metropolitan Family Health Network; and an Award of Appreciation (Significant Contributions in Women’s Healthcare) from the New Jersey Primary Care Association.
Through the Job Skills Directly Related to Employment Program, KRA/Camden manages three distinct TANF operations, as well as a WIA/OSY Youth Employability and Success Program (YES). For TANF recipients, the Community Work Experience/Job Skills Training Program (CWEP/JST) provides assessment; career coaching; job-readiness/life-skills training; community-based work experience; and job-placement services. The General Assistance Program provides the same services as CWEP/JST, but for individuals who do not have children in their care. The Open Entry Program serves jobseekers who have been sanctioned for previous non-compliance with TANF rules and regulations. The YES Program provides GED preparation, as well as training and certification in Microsoft Digital Literacy and Hospitality Services. Camden area businesses benefit greatly, as candidates from all four programs receive training, pre-screening, referral, and follow-up services based on the requirements of individual employers.