The SOCH Auxiliary traces its roots to 1955 when a few women saw the need for a local hospital. Organizing as an Auxiliary, this small group began running fund raising events and watched their dream become reality when Southern Ocean County Hospital opened its doors in 1972.
1955 also marked the birth of the SOCH Auxiliary’s Old and New Shop now located at 440 East Bay Avenue in Manahawkin. The Shop’s growth from a garage sale in Tony Fackler’s Beauty Shop to a $300,000+ business has taken some 50 years and countless volunteer hours and dedication. The Shop continues its work to support the Hospital and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. A volunteer staff that currently includes nearly 100 dedicated individuals operates the Shop.
At the Old and New Shop there are many opportunities for volunteering from assisting customers or working as a cashier to sorting clothes, housewares and other items donated by the larger community. Many of the men check electronic items to ensure they’re in working order. There is a spot at the Old and New Shop for everyone.
In addition to the Shop, the SOCH Auxiliary holds 11 monthly events on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (except August) at the Stafford Community Center at Millcreek. Most meetings start at 12:30 p.m. Meeting themes vary, but have included card parties, covered dish luncheons, a Silver Tea for new members and, of course, holiday parties. A SOCH Auxiliary newsletter, published in June and December, provides a complete list of planned activities.
Four $1,000 healthcare scholarships are awarded each year by the Auxiliary to deserving high school students at the Auxiliary’s Annual Gene LeBlanc Scholarship Luncheon on the 3rd Tuesday of July.
The SOCH Auxiliary seeks to combine service, leadership and socializing in a welcoming environment. There are opportunities to volunteer in the Shop and through the Auxiliary’s fund raising programs for Southern Ocean Medical Center. Each member is encouraged to devote their talents and as much time as they can offer to a social event, club organization and leadership. There’s a place, a job and a fulfilling experience for everyone!!