Since the pandemic began, the days have been busy and rewarding for JFS Volunteer Services. In mid-March, JFS identified a need for safely delivered hot meals and groceries for isolated Holocaust survivors and older adult clients who had been advised to shelter-in-place. To fill that need, we began organizing weekly meals and coordinating weekly grocery shopping by volunteers.
By the end of December, 2776 meals had been delivered by 78 volunteers to over 180 clients. Meals were dropped off with no contact to maintain safe social distancing to protect both our volunteers and our clients.
Ava Reinfeld and Steve Delman, two of our most dedicated volunteers, have won a Points of Light award two times in the past few months. Points of Light is an international organization that equips people, non-profits and corporations to build stronger communities around the world. Their awards celebrate the power of individuals to lead and lend support to causes they care about. Ava and Steve’s recognition stated, “A connection has certainly been developed between Steve and Ava and their clients, who will ask questions about their families and wish them a happy holiday or a good Sabbath. One of their usual meal recipients even gave them flowers for the holidays. Steve said for some of the clients who aren’t able to get out of the house for several days at a time, just having someone to stop by for a moment can make a huge difference in their lives.”
Last week, JFS Volunteer Services delivered Chanukah meals and packages. Chanukah meal deliveries were made possible through generous funding from KAVOD SHEF, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, and Wilf Family Foundations. The Chanukah care packages were filled with cards and sweet treats to the most isolated and vulnerable clients. Please see attached photos of our volunteers in action.
“The holidays can be sad and lonely for our clients. This year, our older adult clients feel especially isolated and vulnerable due to the current COVID crisis. We hope that these Chanukah packages will bring joy, comfort, and a friendly face from our JFS volunteers, who are delivering the packages to the seniors. Included in these packages are letters of hope and good wishes from Golda Och Academy’s Community Service Club, fresh donuts donated by the Chabad of Short Hills, and tea, Chanukah gelt and cookies from JFS MetroWest. Now more than ever, in these difficult times, it is wonderful to see our community come together to care for our elders.” stated Suzy Berman, Director of Volunteer Services at JFS MetroWest NJ.
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest is a comprehensive social service agency providing mental health counseling and support services on a non-discriminatory basis. With a presence in the community since 1861, JFS today delivers an expanding number of programs to increasing numbers of people. For children and families, JFS provides individual, couple, child and family counseling, play therapy, support groups, school and synagogue based social work services, and other assistance needed to support healthy families. Rachel Coalition, a division of JFS, provides domestic violence services for all members of the family affected by domestic violence. JFS also offers a wide range of services for older adults and their families including case management services, counseling, caregiver education, volunteer friendly visitors and specialized programs for Holocaust survivors. For more information, please call (973) 765-9050 or visit www.jfsmetrowest.org.