Our Partners

Our Partners


The Children’s Home Society

Founded in 1894, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (CHS) is a non-profit organization that helps infants, children, youth, and families achieve their potential.  The agency strives to promote protective factors and to strengthen families.

Joseph Zdeb Jr. is a Program Supervisor at Children’s Home Society of New Jersey and is responsible for the development and supervision of the clinical support program at The Peppermint Tree.  He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has been providing clinical services to Ocean County residents since 2007.  Joseph received his Masters in Social Work from Kean University and has worked in several areas of mental and behavioral health. He has vast experience and expertise in the field of child welfare. He is masterful at developing the strengths in those who are experiencing challenges in their lives.  Joseph is an innovative, strengths-based therapist, and combines traditional therapy with a unique style to improve the mental, social and emotional well-being of individuals and families. He uses a variety of techniques and believes a safe, empathic, and nurturing environment is essential to promote healthy living.  Joe will work closely with Joseph Rizziello who is the Chief Programming Officer at Children’s Home Society of New Jersey and has more than 20 years of experience in behavioral healthcare.

helping others grow non profit foundation New Jersey

The Peppermint Tree Child Development Center

Helping Others Grow is proud to support The Peppermint Tree in Toms River, New Jersey.  The Peppermint Tree is a state-certified, privately owned, center that offers early care and education for young, inquisitive minds. Peppermint Tree shares our vision, as evidenced by the recognition they have received as an outstanding preschool. Recently they won the 2014 Rose Annussek Award, presented by the NJ MAP to Inclusive Child Care Teams. They are a participating center in the national “Strengthening Families Initiative”, expanding their vision to serve not only the child, but the family.  Peppermint Tree has been serving our community families since 1975.  To learn more about The Peppermint Tree, visit the website at: www.pepperminttree.com.

Valerie Frost-Lewis is the owner and Director at The Peppermint Tree and is honored to partner with Helping Others Grow.  She has a Master of Science degree in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education. She is active in the early education community, serving on the board of the Ocean County affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and speaking frequently on various topics in early childhood education. Valerie has led numerous professional development early education workshops at the national, state and county levels. As a Professional Development Specialist, she also mentors early childhood education professionals at the beginning of their careers. Valerie’s husband, Scott Lewis, a musician known as Mr. Scott the Music Man” has also dedicated his career to the early childhood field.



Tina’s House, Ocean County’s Child Advocacy Center

The Ocean County Child Advocacy Center (OCCAC) also known as “Tina’s House” is a Prosecutor based Child Advocacy Center (CAC) that provides a child-friendly facility where our affiliated agencies are co-located. The mission of the OCCAC is to enhance the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child sexual and physical abuse and neglect cases, while ensuring the safety, reducing the trauma and promoting the healing of children and their non-offending family members, using a coordinated Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) approach in a child friendly, confidential and neutral setting.

Ocean’s Harbor House

Harbor House provides a safe haven and caring environment for vulnerable youth to enable them to unlock their potential and learn skills that will empower them to build healthier lives, relationships and futures.

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