Reach Helps Our Citizens
REACH is an ecumenical group of volunteers formed more than 15 years ago by interested persons from the churches in Hasbrouck Heights to help our residents by transporting them to and from medical services when no other means of transportation are available. This service is generally provided Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays.
People needing this service should call REACH at 441-3350 before 9:00 a.m. on the day of their appointment to request the service. The inside volunteer receives the requests and provides the driver of the day with names, telephone numbers, time and destinations requested. The volunteer driver will call the person needing the service to confirm the information provided. The driver will arrange for a return trip while transporting to the destination. Both the inside volunteers and drivers serve one day at a time on a pre-scheduled basis which approximates once a month.
The churches of Hasbrouck Heights collectively support and encourage this service, together with voluntary contributions from those being helped. Anyone willing and able to act as either an inside volunteer or driver for this important service to our fellow citizens in Hasbrouck Heights is cordially requested to make their willingness known by calling Louise Davenport at 288-0001 or Emma Herr at 288-0385.
Please help REACH to help our community.
Reach Helpline Service
In early 1980, Roberta Jones Arcand, several other members of the Church of St. John the Divine, and The Rev. Doug Scott met with the Hasbrouck Heights Clergy Association to discuss whether something could be done on the local level to help the Southeast Asian "Boat People". As a result, the Refugee Ecumenical Assistance Committee of Hasbrouck Heights (REACH) was formed, drawing its members from five churches: Corpus Christi, The First Reformed, The First United Methodist, Holy Trinity Lutheran, and St. Johns Episcopal churches, with Mrs. Arcand as the Chairperson.
In June 1980 a commitment to sponsor a family was made to the Lutheran Immigration Service, and in August the Vongpaseuths, a family of four adults and three children from Laos, arrived. REACH provided them with housing, food, clothing, English lessons, medical care (the grandmother was found to be suffering from diabetes and TB), and help in finding jobs. In November 1981 the family, by now self-sufficient, moved to Piscataway, where they had relatives.
REACH now returned to another area of service where help was sorely needed, namely, free transportation for those in its own community who would otherwise have a great difficulty in keeping medical, dental, and other vital appointments. By May of 1982, the REACH Helpline Service began operation. Its fairly nominal expenses are paid by annual pledges from the five churches and completely voluntary contributions from those it serves. REACH drivers not only contribute their services and the use of their vehicles, but also pay for the gas and oil expended.
REACH has a current, urgent need for new members, especially drivers, who can volunteer one day a week. At one time, it performed between 600 and 700 missions each year; the current number is around 500. Many new members of the community (and some older ones) are not aware of its service.