Department for Persons with Disabilities
A Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Paterson
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Specialty Groups

In addition to providing residential and vocational support, DPD also provides recreational opportunities for individuals who live in our programs and for adults with developmental disabilities who live at home with their families. For information on how you can volunteer with these specialty groups or for how you or a loved one can participate in these activities please give us a call at 973-406-1100 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

The Fight for the Right Community Service Group: The Fight for the Right group is the DPD’s client community service group.  The name was created by a DPD resident who is a member of the group and implies fighting for what is right and providing service to those in our local communities, nation and worldwide who are in need.  The group is overseen by volunteers Anna Philhower and Jenn Minervino.  

The group meets monthly to decide upon and perform worthwhile community service projects.  Projects include creating centerpieces for a local woman's club annual "Bunny Brunch", donating Mother's Day gifts to a pregnant women's shelter, planting flowers at a nursing home, running product drives for pet adoption agencies, donating food to food banks, handcrafting, filling and donating Christmas stockings to a social service agency, participating in the Houston Holocaust Museum’s butterfly holocaust memorial wall project and doing yard work and clean up at a community park for an annual Community Clean-up Day, among other projects.  Group members give input regarding project ideas and which ones are ultimately chosen. Here is an article that was published in The Beacon about the group.

Fight for the Right Group Christmas Project
Deidres House Gift Drive

<Catholic Adult Religious Education (C.A.R.E.): One evening each month, a group of volunteers offer a special Religious Education/Prayer Program known as C.A.R.E. (Catholic Adult Religious Education) at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Oak Ridge, NJ.  This community of faith began in 1989 and is an opportunity for adults with disabilities to come together to share their faith and the important things in their lives through discussion, prayer, song and social time.  Each evening has a basic structure, but each is also different based on the needs of the members and/or the season of the Church year.  These sessions are ecumenical programs of spiritual enrichment and are open to people living in our group homes and supervised apartments as well as people living at home with their families or in group homes of other agencies.  The two dedicated professionals who facilitate the program are experienced working with people with various disabilities and they work closely with the other volunteers in planning each session.  A number of high school students have joined as aides as part of their Confirmation service and some have continued to participate long after they have completed their requirements.  These young people have added much enthusiasm and energy to the program while personally benefiting from their experiences with the members who participated.  Members experience and share God's love for them and grow in their appreciation of other people in their lives.


Boy Scouts of America, Troop #1965:
 The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.  Throughout the United States, the Boy Scouts of America also operate and organize Special Needs Troops for children and adults with developmental disabilities.  DPD’s Troop #1965 began in 2010.  Named after the year we were incorporated, the Troop meets monthly and provides educational and recreational opportunities.  Some of the activities that the Troop has participated in has been building and racing Pinewood Derby Cars, creating and sailing Raingutter Regatta boats, various outdoor activities such as fishing and nature hikes and more.  



Special Olympics, NJ:
  Individuals who live in DPD’s programs have the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics is an organization dedicated to bringing pride into the lives of all involved.   They provide sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. All programs are free to registered athletes including insurance, facilities, equipment, uniforms, and meals for events, awards, sports, education and more. In addition to programs offered on the local, county, sectional and state levels, Special Olympics New Jersey offers athletes free participation in all activities at the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex in Lawrenceville.


Knights of Columbus:
  Catholic men who live in DPD’s programs have the opportunity to join local Knights of Columbus Councils.  The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the navigator Christopher Columbus. There are more than 1.8 million members in 15,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Membership consists of four different degrees, each exemplifying a different principle of the Order. The Knights of Columbus give back to the Department for Persons with Disabilities and to other Disability organizations through their annual Disability Drives.