Friends of JFS

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those in need reach their full potential.

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Clients like Brian*, Carol*, Jake*, Rebecca*, Adam*, and Meyer* are able to receive high quality, professional guidance from Jewish Family Service.
Read their stories below to learn the positive impact YOU make on their lives.

*Names were changed in order to protect client privacy

Rebecca, 68 & Adam, 8
Her eight year old grandson was traumatized and it broke her heart.
Rebecca and Gil were left to raise Adam since losing his mother to drug addiction months ago.  He was still angry, frustrated, and hurt that his mother was gone and he was forced to live in a strange, new household with aging grandparents. Unable to find the words to express his rage, Adam often lashed out with screams and kicks when his grandmother tried to comfort him.  Rebecca was also hurt and angry but tried to hide it.  She got little help from Gil who was disabled and unable to keep up with Adam.  Overwhelmed caring for both of them, her mind was full of worry and she could barely sleep through the night.  Would Adam ever heal and become a happy child?  How long could she manage her emotions? How much longer could their limited budget support the three of them?  What would happen if she became ill?

The Rabbi noticed her changed demeanor and recommended Rebecca look into family counseling services at JFS.  Putting her grandson first, Rebecca enrolled Adam in weekly therapy. By his fifth session of play therapy, he had undergone a remarkable change.  Adam was more verbal, calmer, and cooperative.

The transformation in her grandson made Rebecca realize she might also benefit from counseling. No longer able to tamper her feelings of anger and frustration, she felt near her breaking point.  JFS Counselors provided Rebecca and Adam the professional guidance and support needed to strengthen their family.  Rebecca qualified for discounted fees based on the sliding-fee scale, which allowed both family members to get the help they needed to enhance their relationship.

$100 funds one Counseling session which can start a family on the path to healthier communication and enhanced well-being. DONATE

Carol, 70
She suffered a mild heart attack while home alone.
Carol has lived in the same house for more than 40 years. It is where she and her late husband raised their daughter Abby, and Carol now lives alone on a limited budget. Abby paid her weekly visits but worried about her mother’s safety. Whenever Abby attempted to discuss the possibility of her mother selling her home and moving into an assisted living facility, Carol dismissed the idea and insisted on her continued independence. She remains determined to stay there as long as possible with her cherished dachshund.

Abby discussed her concerns with a friend who recommended a medical alert button. After reviewing her options, she was most impressed with the personalized, local service provided by JFS Lifeline.  Carol was enrolled and began wearing her personal emergency response button at all times – even in the shower.

Three months later, Carol suffered a mild heart attack while home alone and pushed her Lifeline button to summon help.  Abby was called and grateful to learn that her mother was on transport to the hospital by ambulance.  Abby rushed to meet her and was relieved that her mother quickly got the help she needed to make a swift recovery.  Carol soon returned home.

Carol and her entire family are pleased with the reliable service Lifeline provides to support her continued independence.

$600 provides one senior Lifeline monitoring services for one year.  DONATE 

Meyer, 79
His wife of fifty one years passed away following her battle with cancer.
This left Meyer facing debt and feeling depressed and isolated.  With no relatives living nearby, he had no support system.  Within six months, his formerly active lifestyle had changed dramatically.  Meyer forced himself to leave the house twice a week to buy groceries on Wednesdays and attend Synagogue on Saturdays.  It was there that his fellow congregants and the Rabbi noticed his sharp weight loss and depression.

Soon his Rabbi arranged to visit with Meyer at home one afternoon. He apologized for the mess but it was evident the house was neglected and that he was starved for companionship.  Before leaving, the Rabbi called Jewish Family Service and asked them to help.

Meyer consulted with JFS and confirmed he could use housecleaning help and welcomed the chance to socialize more.  He also revealed his struggle to pay all of his bills. He openly shared his worries that he would be forced to skip medications and reduce groceries in order to pay utility bills.  It was quickly determined that Meyer would benefit from a grant from the JFS Financial Resource Center.

Meyer also enrolled in two JFS programs which enriched his life.  First, he was paired with a volunteer friend through the Bikur Chaverim program.  Sophia began calling and visiting twice a month to get to know him better.  The two soon discovered a shared love of classic movies and included movie rentals in their visits.

Meyer also enrolled in the JFS Homemaker program in order to keep on top of his house chores.  His friendly Homemaker chatted with him while washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, washing the laundry, and vacuuming each time she visited.  It was a tremendous help since Meyer moved slower these days but wanted his house in order for visitors.

Four months later, his depression had lifted and Meyer awoke each morning feeling positive. The financial, social, and house cleaning services JFS provided served as Meyer’s lifeline – delivering compassionate care in his time of need.

$90 pays for one senior to receive two Homemaker service visits per month. DONATE  

Brian, 39
On the brink of hunger and homelessness, Brian arrived at JFS asking for help.
Brian witnessed his father struggle with depression and substance abuse when he was young.  He blocked out the worst of painful childhood memories including verbal abuse from his father when he was intoxicated. Brian prayed his past would not affect him and took strides to distance himself from his family. For years he relished life as a dedicated husband and father with a steady job. This included steadily saving for his son’s Hebrew lessons and future bar mitzvah.

Brian’s mental health faltered after learning of his father’s death, and he plunged into a deep depression. Withdrawn from his family and friends, Brian lost motivation to do much more than stay in bed and sleep.  As a result, he lost his job and talk of divorce loomed.  His wife urged him to get help but the family’s limited budget went towards the mortgage, utilities and groceries in place of his treatment.  Soon the family was broke and facing eviction.

On the brink of hunger and homelessness, Brian arrived at JFS asking for help.  In need of immediate assistance, he received intensive case management to fill a medical prescription, and pay rent and utilities. Brian worked with his case manager during the following months to steadily accomplish steps to turn his life around, including taking his daily medication, securing a new job, and meeting regularly with a therapist and psychiatrist.

Through the compassionate care JFS provided Brian in his greatest time of need, he has stabilized and has begun to mend things with his family. The family looks forward to celebrating his son’s bar mitzvah together.

JFS helps clients like Brian stabilize their lives through Intensive Case Management including financial assistance to cover vital expenses such as rent, medical bills, and utilities.  DONATE  

Jake, 17
Jake was shocked but remembered what to do from his TLC training.
Jake received Teen Life Counts (TLC) training at his high school last semester.  It was then that Mr. Watson, the school counselor, had reminded the 11th grade students that he was always available to talk and his office was located just down the hall.  Their conversation was about life and death, not just whether you got good grades or behaved. Even though he told no one, that TLC presentation left an impression on Jake. He realized his teachers cared about more him than he had ever thought.  Jake still carried the TLC crisis information card in his wallet.

Jake’s girlfriend Ashley had started drinking and became depressed.  He didn’t like how she had changed but said nothing. He began avoiding her.  Jake was worried and wondered whether he should break up with her. Before they could meet again to talk, Ashley sent him texts saying she wanted to die.  Jake was shocked but remembered what to do from his TLC training. Since it was the middle of a school day, he showed Ashley’s texts to Mr. Watson who took them seriously. Her parents were called and Ashley got the help she needed.

$360 enables 20 students to participate in the life-saving Teen Life Counts (TLC) program.  DONATE