You say it best!

By personal letter, e-mail, phone call, or letter-to-the-editor, people who know us best take the time to share their stories about how we've changed lives for the better.


Dear Ms. Gebhart,

As my assignment with FEMA is coming to an end this week I wanted to take the time to reach out to you and the Lutheran Social Ministries with parting words.  For the past 10 months it has been my job as a FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison to help Ocean County establish a long term recovery group that will have the daunting task of helping the community recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.
I wanted to thank Lutheran Social Ministries for taking such an active part in helping to create the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG).  I have had the pleasure of working hand and hand with two of your representatives Lisa Barnes and Amy Pennenga. Both have showed a steadfast commitment to the OCLTRG and to the many still in need from the storm. They have taken an active role in participating in committees, offering up ideas and solutions as we all try to navigate the waters of recovery.  I believe their efforts, which in turn represents the entire Lutheran Social Ministries efforts, have been and will continue to be a vital part in helping our communities recover from their most challenging situations.
I have a true appreciation and admiration for both Lisa and Amy and the Lutheran Social Ministries.  I thank you for your time, passion and compassion.
All the best,
Susan Marticek
FEMA – Voluntary Agency Liaison
Ocean County

We are reminded of the gift that we were given in becoming parents when we send photos and updates to our daughter’s birth family. We know that she is a gift from God that we received with the help of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey. We feel blessed to have worked with this wonderful agency, whose morals and values concerning the welfare of children and families match ours. We are grateful for all the expertise, guidance, love and support shared with us as we walked together on our adoption journey.
Throughout the entire process we felt their desire for us to become a family. They lovingly held our hearts and hands considering each person’s needs as we embraced open adoption. We thank everyone at LSM/NJ for making our dream a reality. They are forever part of our child’s birth and adoption story; they are forever a part of our family.

Ann Basile and Don Ballai
West Windsor, NJ

It is out of love and caring for my fellow man and woman that I enjoyed the companionship, fellowship, love and respect I felt today. I am blessed to have a roof over my head, food on my table and a warm bed to sleep in every night. Thank God a place like New Visions is in Camden for these children of God. The fellowship I had today will get me through the week ahead.  Even if Tito did win EVERY game of Chinese Checkers! I'll look forward to a rematch with him anytime.
I look forward to my next visit.
Catherine Markel
, NJ

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year, my husband and I sold our home in Madison, NJ.  We had been living there for nearly 50 years, and loved the vibrant community.  The Borough of Madison is home to two colleges, a wonderful school system, and had its own symphony orchestra.  We raised all five of our children in Madison, and during that time, I was involved in many community organizations.  In addition, while living in Madison, we enjoyed the beautiful parks, restaurants, and proximity to everything.  Needless to say, leaving our home and moving to a retirement community should have been a difficult transition.  Thanks to Crane’s Mill, it was not.  

At the time, we were getting ready to relocate, my husband, George, needed sub-acute rehab along with some physical therapy.  He temporarily went to the skilled nursing unit in Crane’s Mill to receive that care.  I have to commend the entire staff for the wonderful care George received.  The staff was caring, attentive, cheerful, and encouraging – they catered to his every whim!  

Earlier this summer, he moved from the rehab area, and is now a resident in the assisted living area.  He is doing very well.  I have my own apartment in independent living, which is spacious and comfortable.  George and I dine together, attend lectures, and participate in many programs.  Both of us have all the amenities of home.  

The residents at Crane’s Mill are welcoming, friendly, interesting, and very much engaged in living their lives to the fullest.  The grounds are beautiful, and the community hosts many cultural events.  Every week, there are art exhibitions, musical programs, and a variety of speakers who are experts in a wide range of subjects.

Moving to Crane’s Mill was the best decision we could have made.

Marie Moore
Formerly of Madison, now of West Caldwell, NJ

—Letter sent by resident to Caldwell Press and Madison Eagle newspapers.

Dear Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ,

My wife and I recently adopted our son through your program and are more than pleased! MaryAnn and Allison made the whole process very simple and relaxing. They both were willing to “hold our hands” throughout the entire process to make the transition very easy. They made sure there wasn’t a single question or concern unanswered or unresolved and were great to deal with. My wife and I already decided to use your services again for our next child and would be more than wiling to be used as a reference in the future.

Without MaryAnn and Allison our family would not have been completed and for that we are eternally grateful.

Keep up the great work and BIG hearts!


Seth Fox
Marlton, NJ

To Whom it May Concern:

On behalf of our mother, Rosa Martinez, a former resident at the Roosevelt Senior Housing Complex in Roosevelt, NJ, we would like to let you know that it was a pleasure for her living there. She thoroughly enjoyed the amenities of the lovely apartment and peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately due to her recent medical conditions she was forced to look into other options. Happily although very different from what she was so used to, she is now settled in her apartment closer to family.  

We would like to stress how really grateful we are to all of you during her residency there. A very special thank you to Mr. Ed Marshall not only for his quick manner of attending to issues that arose in the maintenance of the apartment, but also for his sincere manner of care shown to our mother Rosa, in times of need. We wish him and his new bride continued well being and success. The same gratitude goes out to Ms. Diane Adcock at the office.

We congratulate your establishment on hiring the correct people for the job.


Carmen Ortiz

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