February 08, 2019 | Press Release.pdf
(Princeton, NJ) – Community Options, Inc. proudly announces the promotion of Kathryn Giron to the post of Executive Director of the Middlesex and Monmouth Counties Office. In this role, she will have direct oversight of local residential and day programs for people with disabilities, talent recruitment and development, programming, budgeting, quality assurance, and cultivation of relationships within the business community in partnership with the Community Options Business Advisory Council.
“We are delighted to have Kathryn lead our operations in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties. Her growth at Community Options has been remarkable and her talent, passion, and commitment to excellence are evident in all that she does,” said Svetlana Repic-Qira, Regional Vice President at Community Options, Inc. “We look forward to the significant impact she will have on individuals with disabilities in her enhanced leadership role.”
Giron began working with Community Options in June 2012, originally joining as a Direct Support Professional in the Bergen/Passaic regional offices. She has earned four promotions throughout her tenure in the organization, also serving as a Community Support Manager and Coordinator, overseeing the operations of 14 local homes. Prior to joining Community Options, Giron ran Aquatics programs for the YMCAs of Union and Woodbridge, NJ.
“I came into the field not knowing what to expect and I fell in love with it. Working with the individuals on a daily basis, and watching their growth, has been deeply motivating to further my knowledge and experience in this field, and with Community Options. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve as an Executive Director for Community Options, and excited to begin this new chapter,” says Giron.
Giron earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from New Jersey City University. A New Jersey native, Giron lives in Edison with her husband and son.
For 30 years, Community Options has developed housing and employment programs for people with disabilities, serving thousands of people through over 40 offices across 11 states. Community Options provides advocacy assistance to empower people with disabilities because all people, regardless of ability level, should live and work in the community with dignity, choice and self-determination. For more information please visit our website: www.comop.org and to follow along with the ComOpCares campaign, search #ComOpCares on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
February 07, 2019 | news12.com online
The nonprofit group Community Options is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the “Cupid’s Chase 5K” charity run. The national group helps people with disabilities.
January 30, 2019 | LocalSYR.com
Executive Director of Community Options Cynthia Barnaby and media chair Kate Thornton discuss the upcoming Cupid’s Chase
January 28, 2019 | PR Newswire online |
PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On Saturday, February 9, 2019, over 10,000 people across 45 cities in 11 states will participate in the 11th annual Valentine’s Cupid’s Chase 5K run, presented by Community Options, Inc.
Each year, Community Options, a national nonprofit organization that provides housing and employment support to people with severe mental and physical disabilities, hosts its Cupid’s Chase 5K in various cities to support local disabled residents and their families by raising money for facilities support and programmatic social and medical services. This year’s Cupid’s Chase run will take place in:
“We started Cupid’s Chase to raise awareness in the community of the need for vital resources necessary to ensure that adults with significant disabilities will still live a meaningful, prosperous life,” said Robert Stack, CEO of Community Options. “I’m pleased that this event has drawn so many socially responsible community and corporate supporters. Each year we continue to add new race locales and educate all participants and sponsors on the importance of assisting those in our communities who desperately need a helping hand.”
The Cupid’s Chase run is expected to raise over $1 million for Community Options’ annual operating expenses. Through a variety of group home management and job placement services, Community Options currently supports over 3,500 adults living and working with severe mental and physical afflictions. Since its inception 30-years ago, Princeton based Community Options has assisted over 14,300 disabled individuals.
Community Options believes in the dignity of every person, and in the freedom of all people to experience the highest degree of self-determination. Embracing this philosophy, Community Options provides housing, support services and advocacy assistance to help empower people with disabilities.
On Saturday, February 9th, Community Options will host its annual Cupid’s Chase 5K in 45 locations across 11 states. All funds raised will be utilized to support people with disabilities supported by Community Options.
Each registered runner will receive a shirt that says “Available” or “Unavailable” in
spirit of the Valentine’s Day theme. Registration is currently open at www.cupidschase.org. Runners can register for any of the 45 races across the country, sign up as a virtual runner, and create fundraising teams that allow running groups to raise money for
There are also a variety of ways for local businesses to get involved by becoming a sponsor of any of the local races or by becoming a sponsor on a state, regional or national level. The sponsorship opportunities provide a wide array of marketing for local companies, with all funds going to the local regions.
For more information on how you can get involved either as a runner, sponsor or volunteer for any of the Cupid’s Chase 5K Runs, please contact Angelique Parashis at
609-951-9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may visit our event site at
February 9, 2019
Cupid’s Chase 5K
May 6-9, 2019
Annual iMatter Conference
May 9, 2019
30th Anniversary Gala
October 7, 2019
Annual iMatter Golf Outing
From September 23-26, Community Options held its 12th annual iMatter Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Andaz Resort and Spa. The theme of this year’s conference was “Foundations for Growth: Learning from Others”. Approximately 170 employees were in attendance to learn from their peers about a multitude of diverse subjects ranging from finding employment for those we support to fundraising and marketing.
During the annual Awards Dinner at the conference, Community Options presented the “Direct Support Professional of the Year Award” to Geraldine Schwartz from Morristown, New Jersey.
The 2019 conference will take place May 6-9, 2019 at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, New Jersey. The conference will culminate with the 30th Anniversary Gala of Community Options on May 9, 2019 on the campus of Princeton University.
Community Options proudly opened its new Day Habilitation facility in Amarillo, Texas this past fall.
Community Options’ Day Habilitation programs are designed to enhance daily living skills, vocational and community skills through volunteerism and community integration. The
Amarillo program supports approximately 50 people with
a staff of 11 employees.
“The opening of this new site provides easier access and more space to support individuals,” said Nicole Britt, Community Options Executive Director of Amarillo. “We’re also looking to assist the community with volunteer and potential employment opportunities.”
In September, Community Options received a grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit established by James LeVoy Sorenson and Beverley Taylor Sorenson for the purpose of promoting charitable endeavors. The grant will support the new Meaningful Day Program in Salt Lake City, Utah, which assists people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities in becoming active members of their local community.
“The Sorenson Legacy Foundation grant will enable our staff to provide true community engagement and assist our individuals to live self-determined lives,” says Shannon Wilkins, Executive Director of Community Options in Utah.
The program offers people with disabilities opportunities for meaningful engagement in local communities. Each unit culminates in an excursion that allows participants to apply what they learned. Individuals have the opportunity to learn about utilizing public transportation, voting and self-advocacy, visiting local museum exhibits and galleries, volunteering, and more.
The grant funding provided by the Sorenson Legacy Foundation will provide one year of support for the Meaningful Day program in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In August, Community Options celebrated the grand opening of its fourth four-bedroom home in Princeton, New Jersey.
One of the residents that moved into the home is Jack, who is 23 years old and is living independently for the first time in his life. Jack also works at the local McCaffrey’s Food Market. “I like living here,
the manager and staff are really nice to me,” said Jack. “The staff is very helpful when I need assistance. I love when my manager cooks, he cooks the best! I also like my new housemate, Ricky, and I look forward to the new housemates that will be
“We are happy to be partnering once again with Community Options on a group home,” said Mayor Liz Lempert. “Providing quality housing for adults with disabilities is a life-changer for families.”
December 18, 2018 | Bowling Green Daily News online
Embrace people with autism, don’t torture them
Electric shock to apply notable pain on mice and other animals for experimental behavioral response was legally used to apply to persons with autism and other disabilities until now.
In states like Massachusetts and others, the federal government allowed the use of cattle prods, electric shock and more complex devices of torture to temporarily modify aberrant behavior causing severe pain to people with disabilities. This medieval approach for persons with disabilities sanctioned by previous administrations is outrageous and has gone on far too long.
Many individual states had the wisdom to outlaw the use of aversive electric shock on persons with autism and intellectual disabilities. Other states did not. The federal government remained silent on this subject, until now.
After decades of letter writing, testimonies and a variety of other methodologies to educate public officials, finally FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in his newsletter stated that “we’re also planning to issue a final ban on electrical stimulation devices used for self-injurious and aggressive behaviors.
“We believe these products present an unreasonable and substantial risk to public health that cannot be corrected or eliminated through changes to the labeling. The FDA takes the act of banning a device only on rare occasions when it is necessary to protect public health.”
We support thousands of individuals with significant disabilities nationwide in small group homes and their own homes, as well as in community jobs and programs. We use positive approaches regardless of any behavior.
It has worked since I founded this organization 30 years ago and hopefully with the help and wisdom of the federal government it will become policy for every organization to follow.
– Stack is president and CEO of Community Options, a nonprofit supporting people with disabilities nationwide.
November 16, 2018 | Press Release.pdf
(PRINCETON, NJ) – Community Options, Inc., one of New Jersey’s largest non‐profit organizations with a mission to develop housing and employment for people with disabilities, graciously accepted a $5,000 donation from Valley Bank of New Jersey.
“Valley is committed to making a lasting impact on the communities we serve,” remarked Mwaura Muroki, Valley Commercial Loan Officer. “That’s why we are proud to support Community Options in their mission to create housing and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.”
Community Options operates Red Ribbon Academy day programs in Wayne and Hillsborough, NJ. The donation will be dedicated to the Community Options’ Red Ribbon Academy in Wayne, New Jersey. The Red Ribbon Academy is a day habilitation program designed to foster growth and progress for individuals with special medical needs. The facility is barrier free, ADA compliant, and contains therapy rooms with special sensory environments. There are a wide array of therapeutic and recreational activities available to maintain and increase mental acuity, as well as maximize physical ability.
“Thank you to Valley Bank and its leadership for this generous donation to support 25 individuals at the Red Ribbon Academy in Wayne,” said Robert Stack, CEO of Community Options. “We look forward to continuing to provide best-in-class services and opportunities to nurture friendships and creativity, as well as the extra care and support our individuals need and want.”
For 29 years, Community Options has developed housing and employment programs for people with disabilities – serving thousands of people through over 40 offices across 11 states. Community Options provides advocacy assistance to empower people with disabilities because all people – regardless of ability level – should live and work in the community with dignity, choice and self-determination. For more information, please visit our website www.comop.org or follow our ComOpCares campaign via social media by searching #ComOpCares on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $31 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates more than 230 branches across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to valley.com or call the Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.