Youth organization volunteers who originally had to pay for their own required background checks may have still have a glimmer of hope.
The township received an unsolicited email from Maureen Kanka, mother of Megan Kanka and co-founder of the Kanka Foundation, which is providing funding to West Deptford for the background checks.
Kanka's email said she may be able to use extra funds to reimburse West Deptford for the criminal background checks the current allotment does not cover. West Deptford only received 100 forms for free background checks. According to recreation director Greg Ley, they are approximately 370 volunteers across all of the organizations.
“There's no guarantee,” said Recreation Advisory Committee chairman John DiCarlo at a Feb. 20 meeting, “but she feels pretty confident that she'll be able to do that.”
where it was revealed that the volunteers who didn't receive free background checks would either have to pay for it themselves or be reimbursed directly by the organization.
The one stipulation made in the email is that any reimbursement money would only go to volunteers who get their background checks done by the end of March, since that is when the grant money will run out. There was a push on Wednesday night to get the organizations to remind their volunteers to make their background check appointments as soon as possible.
Once the entire background check process is completed, West Deptford Township will have a master file showing which volunteers had to pay the $26 for their background check. Those volunteers would then be reimbursed by the township.
All of the organizations were reminded that this is not a given. Ley, who received the email from Kanka, said that he did receive further details from the Kanka Foundation on where the extra funds may come from.
This is the first year that background checks are mandatory for all West Deptford youth organizations. The township committee passed the ordinance last November.