Like a ‘Second Family’

tj rasmussen, nicky

T.J. Rasmussen helps out in a Matheny School classroom, assisting student Nicholas Barros.

Four years ago, a family friend suggested to T.J. Rasmussen that she might want to volunteer at Matheny. “I came to visit,” Rasmussen says, “and I fell in love with it.” To Rasmussen, a resident of Bedminster, NJ, Matheny is like a “second family.” She visits regularly, helping out in Matheny School classrooms, participating in recreation therapy activities or just socializing with the students and patients.

Matheny is just one of Rasmussen’s volunteer activities. She’s also a member of the Far Hills-Bedminster Rescue Squad and volunteers at Mane Stream, the Oldwick-based facility that offers adaptive horsemanship for individuals with disabilities. An added plus at Mane Stream is an opportunity to interact with Matheny School students when they go there for weekly therapeutic horseback riding sessions. Rasmussen is currently studying for her associate’s degree online and plans to either continue her education at Raritan Valley Community College or join the Air Force and become a paramedic.

Volunteers are needed at Matheny weekdays, evenings, and on weekends. Individuals can serve as recreation assistants, classroom aides, tutors, or just friendly visitors. For more information, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 282; or email