By Lauren Rudzis,
Development & Communications Coordinator
Looking for a meaningful way to kick-start 2019? Perhaps an activity that makes an impact on the Greater New Orleans community? Consider volunteering with Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (JFS)! By volunteering with JFS, you have the unique opportunity to help others and partner with an organization. By impacting someone else’s life, you might end up changing your own.
Three programs at JFS are in need of year-round volunteers: Teen Life Counts (TLC), Lifeline, and Bikur Chaverim. Depending on your availability, one of these opportunities might be the right fit for you!
Teen Life Counts (TLC) – As a school-based suicide prevention and education program for middle and high school students, TLC works to end teen suicide in the Greater New Orleans area and equip students with the knowledge and tools they need to be a bridge to help when a friend is suicidal. The TLC program relies on its dozens of Volunteer Educators to teach a three-hour session (split up into two 90-minute sessions over a two day period) to talk about the stigma of mental illness, the warning signs of suicide, the best way to start conversations with a peer or adult, and where to get help. This program is free of charge and is currently active in private, public, charter, and parochial schools. Check out the Teen Life Counts Video and see current volunteers in action!
- Interested in applying? Click here for more info & to start your application
- Questions? Email Melissa Stewart, TLC Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifeline – Looking for an easy way to give back to the community without leaving your home? Lifeline is the program for you! Lifeline is a personal emergency response system, providing immediate assistance to seniors living independently at home. Lifeline equipment is worn as a button on either a necklace or bracelet. These buttons must be tested once a month. Lifeline volunteers call subscribers to remind them to test their buttons. This ensures the safety of the subscriber and allows the Lifeline team to check the equipment in a home if needed. The commitment is only one hour a month! Now that sounds like an easy volunteer opportunity 🙂
“I’ve been volunteering with Lifeline for many years. My “subscribers” have become my friends. I’ve gotten to know about their families and their interests . . . They also know me and look forward to my monthly call.” – Fran Lake
- Interested in volunteering for Lifeline? Call Jan Miller at (504) 831-8475 ext.126 or email her at email@example.com
Bikur Chaverim – Want to make a new friend? Based on the mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick), Bikur Chaverim, or “Visiting Friends”, arranges semi-weekly visits or phone calls to isolated or partially isolated seniors with the aim of building a lasting relationship.
Visitor volunteers are paired with new ‘friends’ to develop companionship through conversation. Visiting a ‘friend’ can provide value in both the volunteer and the senior’s life through shared ideas while understanding new points-of-view.
“My experience with Bikur Chaverim continues to be wonderful . . . by now our relationship has blossomed into a real friendship. I consider her [friend] my “New Orleans Grandma,” and we talk about all sorts of things, both on the phone and in person. It is great to have someone who is totally separate from my school life that I can talk to, and I believe we are both getting lots of fun and positive experiences out of our time together.” – Eve, Current Bikur Chaverim Volunteer
- Interested in creating lasting memories for yourself and an isolated senior? Contact Fran Dinehart, LCSW at (504) 831-8475 ext.134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Consider making your New Year’s resolutions impactful by ending teen suicide, ensuring the safety of local independent seniors, or providing companionship for the most isolated seniors.
Interested in more info on how to support JFS? Visit the Volunteer Page on the JFS website at www. jfsneworleans.org.