When we recently delivered food to a frail elderly Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard client who is practically blind, and has very little money, she dug in her purse and pressed a few dollars into my young daughter’s hands – “for your Tzedakah box” she said. What a great lesson my child learned that day.
I became a Holocaust Survivor Events and JET Express volunteer in honor of my mother. When we came to Florida at the end of 2016, my mother was already under hospice care and I was blessed to be able to take time off work to care for and be available for her. I contacted JFS to get information on the programs and services offered to Holocaust survivors like my mother sine these were new to us. These wonderful programs aren’t available in many cities/states. JFS quickly dispatched the Holocaust Assistance Program Supervisor. She was wonderful, she really connected with my mother and with me, among other things, she invited us to an upcoming Cafe Europa event and arranged for cleaning help for mom’s small condo which was a huge help and something we both really appreciated. Mom and I soon attended our first Cafe Europa, mom as a survivor, I as a volunteer. My first duty was to check people in and I checked in a lovely lady, Sima who was Russian speaker like mom. I later saw Sima sitting by herself so I brought over my mom who was happy to keep her company. A little while later Sima’s daughter Natalia came and at that point I was done with my serving duties so could join them for lunch. The event, music, food, flowers, JFS staff and volunteers, lovely gifts for survivors and of course new friends were all wonderful! Natalia and I took our mothers to other Cafe Europa events and mused about our mom’s rallying and rising from deathbeds to attend the events they so looked forward to. They indeed lit up at the events and no matter how they were feeling before, the events made them feel better! I have beautiful, happy pictures along with wonderful memories from these events which made a difference for my mom and so many others. My mom passed away in July 2017. Words can’t express how much I miss her and how grateful I will always be to JFS for the support you all provided to mom and to me as well the wonderful friends I have in Sima and Natalia. I am also grateful and honored to help JFS in a small way. Every interaction and connection with a JFS client is precious and rewarding. Thank you for everything that you do!
A 50-year-old man called Goodman JFS because he needed rental assistance. The client, who was once homeless, fell behind in rent because he lost his job. He had worked very hard to get back to stable finances, get a home and pay all of his own household expenses. He owed one month’s rent and did not want to be evicted. The case manager contacted the landlord to request time to process client’s application without evicting him. The landlord agreed and went to the housing court to stop the eviction procedure he had already started. He said, “I don’t want him to be homeless again because he is a very good man who ran out of luck.” The client had several job interviews and a couple of days later he was hired. In addition, he has been doing odd jobs around the neighborhood to save some money to be prepared in case he has another emergency. GJFS contributed to the community by preventing him from becoming homeless again.
-Financial Assistance Care Manager
A 73-year-old man called Goodman JFS seeking assistance with his water and electric bills. He and his wife fell behind in payments and their utility services were about to be disconnected. They are both disabled, their income is very low, and they have to buy items that are not covered by their food stamp benefits. His wife has an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease and is bed-bound, needing assistance for all her needs. GJFS’ Financial Assistance program made arrangements with the utility companies and committed to pay the bills. When the care manager visited their mobile home, she realized it was in need of repair and a good cleaning. GJFS paid for their home to be cleaned, provided Publix gift cards and gave them a voucher to receive bread from Panera every week for a year. The client was relieved their utility services remained connected and very happy with the assistance they received.
-Financial Assistance Care Manager
I have been a volunteer with the Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard for more than a year. I find it very gratifying to deliver groceries to our Cupboard clients who are unable to shop for their own groceries. When I make my monthly deliveries, I spend quite a bit of time with our very appreciative recipients. I show kindness, compassion and maybe most importantly, a listening ear.
I have been able to provide a new dinette set for one of our clients that only had a bed in his apartment. One of “my” other clients was in need of a curtain. So, I took the measurements and surprised him a few days later with a homemade curtain. As happy and thankful as he was to receive the curtain; it made me so happy to see him smile. I recently was able to coordinate the purchase and delivery of a brand new bed to one of our very deserving clients, thanks to funds from Goodman JFS. It brings me great pleasure to be able to help others who need a helping hand. I am a firm believer that if you are able to volunteer and put a smile on someone’s face, you should do it, as you will receive so much more in return.