Holiday Helpers Bring Warmth and Joy to JFS Clients
When leaves & temperatures drop and the holiday season is quickly approaching, our thoughts often go to helping those in need. This year, community members and leaders joined JFS in a new approach to holiday giving. By the end of December, about 54 families or individuals were served by the Holiday Helpers program. Expressions of excitement and gratitude were heartwarming and JFS received a lot of positive feedback from clients, therapists, and volunteers alike.
In order to include more individuals and families than we have in the past, we invited the community to help us stock the JFS pantry with seasonal items and gifts available to ALL JFS clients. Whether it was a JFS Village senior looking for a warm hat, or a recently arrived Refugee family who needs a cozy blanket while adjusting to American winters, or a struggling mom searching for ingredients to prepare a holiday meal, the JFS pantry was be stocked for them with exactly what they needed. Through their incredible generosity, our Holiday Helpers participants not only brought joy to families in need, but helped eliminate some of the stress of the winter season and empower JFS clients to make their own holidays bright. Provided the opportunity to ‘shop’ through the pantry, JFS clients regained a sense of self-reliance that many people struggle to find, especially during the holidays.
Working closely with JFS therapists, a list was compiled of items that our most vulnerable individuals and families would need, want, and appreciate the most. Our pantry (and the surrounding areas) were quickly filled with toys & games, hats & gloves, books & blankets, and delicious holiday treats!
Tuesday, December 4, volunteers and community members gathered at JFS to make hand-tied blankets and hats to add to the collection! Led by our talented and passionate volunteer leaders of Holiday Helpers, Lisa Driban and Rachel Harad, the group made dozens of cozy hats and blankets to add an extra dose of warmth and love to the project.
JFS is so proud of the success of this new holiday giving project and we are incredibly grateful to Lisa and Rachel for making a small idea grow and come to life in ways we could never imagine. We truly cannot fulfill our mission without the help of our community.