Reflections of Jamesburg: What Our Community Means Part II

      Last month I spoke about how Jamesburg is a very special place because of its schools, commerce, and volunteers. This month, I will continue my commentary about how special Jamesburg is and what continues to keep the town moving in a positive direction.

      Within our borders lie a very special group of people. Those are the emergency service volunteers. Jamesburg has two extremely active and dedicated volunteer departments that are multi-generational and act not just as a unit, but as a family. The Jamesburg Volunteer Fire Department established in 1900 and the Jamesburg First Aid Squad formed in 1936, are very vital to the survival of our community and its citizens. Despite the lack of funding, our squads provide top notch service to not just Jamesburg, but Helmetta, Monroe Township, and the NJ Turnpike. Whenever a call goes out, they are there to respond and prepared for the worst. It is thanks to them that our community is safer.

      Another type of volunteer that is sometimes forgotten about in the Jamesburg area is the local food bank. Food banks serve the less fortunate, easing their rough times and making them feel welcomed by the community. Jamesburg has a food bank at the Presbyterian Church, run in conjunction with other local groups and churches. Each week, donations are collected and once a month supplies are delivered to families in need of some extra supplies and nourishment. This program is very positive and demonstrates yet another way that the community outreaches to those in need. When local families see the food that might not otherwise be there, they are grateful to live in such a caring community.

      Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are active in Jamesburg. These groups work together with the senior center and the schools to improve the quality of life in Jamesburg. Recent projects include the outdoor teaching area at JFK, Tillie Davison Park Cleanup, and painting the tower of the Presbyterian Church. These projects help the community and do not cost the taxpayers a cent. Materials are donated by local stores and the work is done by the scouts, free of charge. Projects like this foster positive community involvement, leading towards a more proactive aurora and feeling of accomplishment for the young members of our community.

      The Jamesburg Recreation Department is another fully volunteer program supported by the Borough of Jamesburg. The Summer Rec Camp, basketball, baseball, floor hockey, and cheerleading programs are all run voluntarily by residents and parents with a small fee to participants for shirts and equipment. The summer camp especially, is one place where the young and old can bond. Many counslers there were former campers and want to give back to their community where they spent their summers. The traditions at the camp hold a special place in the hearts of the campers and their counslers. It is a place to hang out, have a good time, and pass the summer away in a positive light. Without the never-ending efforts of our community volunteers, the program would cease to exist, leaving many kids without a place to go in the summer.

      Not many people experience how special Jamesburg is unless one lives here. When I tell others how exciting Jamesburg is, most do not believe me. I encourage everyone to spend a day in Jamesburg, visiting our many diverse shops, eclectic restaurants, tree-lined streets, and historic houses. While walking down our streets, one may think that he or she has been transported back in time, to a place where everyone knows your name and enjoys shooting the breeze with you; A place where shop owners can stand outside and wave to the passing cars, tell you stories of the "good old days", and remember where families lived twenty years ago. Not many towns in New Jersey can claim that they are a true hometown, thanks to the increase in the commercialized and industrial development. Thankfully, Jamesburg is built up and contains no industrial areas, thus preserving the hometown feeling forever.

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