COPS Monitoring, a provider of wholesale professional alarm services, donated laptops to the Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland, N.J., giving its residents the ability to connect with loved ones during the quarantines imposed by COVID-19.

Opened in 1899, the Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland has been providing services to New Jersey veterans since the Civil War. Still, COVID-19 represents a new challenge as the isolation caused an abrupt separation from loved ones.

“Both my parents live in the Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland, and they closed the doors to visitors on March 13,” said Colleen Croge, executive assistant at COPS Monitoring. “I’m glad they did because they don’t have a single case of the coronavirus in the whole facility. I feel pretty good about that, but I visit my parents regularly, and I haven’t been able to see them for more than three weeks. I have no idea when I’ll be able to visit them and my dad has been battling some serious health issues. I’ve seen some visitors talking through the glass to their family, but my parents live on the third floor and they’re confined to their room or floor for the most part to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.” 

Faced with this predicament, Colleen turned to COPS with a proposal.

“Colleen knows that we have an inventory of laptops to support our employees working from home during this time, and to prepare for remote dispatching to the millions of alarm users that we monitor nationwide, in the event it becomes necessary,” said Jim McMullen, president of COPS Monitoring. “When Colleen asked if she could borrow a computer so she could video chat with her parents, we didn’t hesitate. Our entire organization is built on the foundation of people helping people, and I was happy to help Colleen connect with her parents.”

When Colleen delivered the laptop, she was greeted by the staff outside. They were completely covered in protective gear, and took the laptop inside to be disinfected. A few hours later, Colleen was able to see and talk with her parents. Later, the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home called Colleen to share just how much their demeanor and overall outlook had improved after the video chat.

“Many of us take for granted the ability to be connected with the ones we care about most, and we tend to underestimate what happens when that connection is suddenly interrupted,” McMullen said. “Colleen’s experience with her parents prompted us to donate additional laptops, so others can have similar experiences.”

The laptops donated by COPS to the Veterans Memorial Home are shared amongst its residents so they too can reconnect with family and loved ones from across the globe.