How We Make a Difference
Goodman JFS is dedicated to serving the Broward County community by empowering individuals and protecting the vulnerable. Read the many ways our innovative social services have impacted lives.
The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard represents love, compassion, hope and the simplest of gestures which seems lost in today’s world, kindness, helping another because you can with no strings attached. Just the want to positively impact a family’s life. Clients are treated with such respect that we are not embarrassed by our circumstances but are lifted up by the generosity and smiles when greeted through the doors. We are not questioned on how we ended up in our circumstances but encouraged to help ourselves and in return another.
I am a single mother of a teenage child. Like all of us we have a story. I feel it’s important to share it, so others not only understand our circumstances but are moved by it. I hope it allows a platform to share the Cupboard’s impact while offering an invitation for many who may not know the significant yet quiet unspoken need in our community.
I was an established single parent whose teenage son had a bright future. He was active in the community and wanted to be a lawyer. Then, life happened. My son became ill and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We were and are in for the fight of our lives. All resources I had and have are depleted on insurance, medical bills and weekly brain treatments and medication insurance does not cover. The decision became between medication/treatments or meals other than what seemed like grilled cheese, egg sandwiches and water. He and I gladly choose my son’s medication/treatments but the need for milk and fundamentals were apparent.
It was when I reached the Cupboard and saw Vicky’s smiling face, I then realize how lucky we were. Chicken, strawberries, milk, eggs and the staples for a nutritious meal for my child. It was and is the best decision I have made. There is no greater love than from one’s family. Sometimes that family comes from an unexpected place. That family is found not only at and through the volunteers and employees at the Cupboard but from the generosity of its contributors and local businesses who sustain it.
A very grateful client,
Mom and Son in Davie
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 Goodman 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.