JCFS is an impressive agency with knowledgable, caring, and dedicated professionals on its staff. In my role as an early childhood educator, I was fortunate to work with a child development specialist from the Virginia Frank Child Development Center, one of the programs of JCFS. I was so grateful for the support the consultant provided me, members of our staff, and the families in our program that I wanted to support the work of the Virginia Frank CDC in any way I could. I am presently involved as a volunteer with a group called the Friends of Virginia Frank. I find it to be an extremely gratifying experience to be involved with this group and work with such dedicated, intelligent, and compassionate professionals. Through my work with the Friends of Virginia Frank I have become more knowledgable about the wide array of services that JCFS offers and am so pleased to support the important and vital services that the agency provides.
I am the lucky one when it comes to the Holiday Gift Program sponsored by JCFS. And NOT because I am a recipient. This program has given more to my family than we could ever have given to it. For over at least the last 12 years we as a family have had the opportunity to make Hannukah wishes come true for children who may not otherwise have gifts to open. While that seems generous--it pales in comparison to what we have gained. JCFS has organized the most extensive, inclusive and completely private gift-giving progam. Each year I request 4 children in need of achieving a happy Hannukah. Why 4? Becasue I have four of my own children. When we started this program I wanted them to learn about giving to others. They each "shopped" for their child--yep, we read our child what was on the wish list and we all walked the aisles of the toy store looking for just the right item. I was even able to request recipients around the same ages as my own children so they could get the full experience, appreciation and understanding of giving.The similar aged child made it SOOO very relateable to them. To this day--even though my kids range in age from 16-23 and I do most of the shopping, we still have one night of Hannukah when we don't exchange any gifts and call it our donation night. This program is the gift that keeps on giving--TO MY FAMILY. We are reminded how lucky we are and how it's our responsibility to help others. And, those "others" could be us one day or could be our neighbors today. This year, unbeknownst to myself, I would have my world opened by one of the JCFS children. A 17 year old boy (yes, he is still a child deserving of gifts) requested some books. While buying one of them I learned from the store owner how great it was. So, I sent my husband to the library to get it and he read and loved it and now the book is in my hands and I can't put it down. Who knew that an anonymous 17 year old young man would enrich my life? THANK YOU JCFS for allowing the parents of these children to give them gifts from their heart. THANK YOU JCFS for allowing all aged children to celebrate the holiday. THANK YOU JCFS for allowing me to be a better person and for giving me and my family things I never ever expected to receive through giving.
JCFS is a great and helpful place for so many people and people of different ages. I love being involved there and will continue to be!
I have been involved with JCFS for many years in various programs. I have seen many lives change for the better through the dedicated and well trained staff and volunteers. I feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing organization.
I have been a member of the North Shore Auxiliary of the Jewish Child & Family Services for 27 years and this program has been the most fullfilling of all that we have chosen to endow. Upon my first experience with the Respite Take Five weekend is the most memorable. Lori Lavin and I from the board joined them at their weekend event at the Friday night Shabbat dinner. Sitting with the families and realizing that what I have taken for granted in raising my children those famillies with children who have disabilities and children without them in the same household have. Realizing that I can leave my child or children with a babysitter for the evening to go out, these families, just to be with their non-disabled children, need a professional care-giver for their child with disabilities. But what I saw with our staff of professionals is the care and feeding that they give to the entire family unit, which is critical. Each member has a need and our staff addresses those needs through the weekend giving the parents a safe avenue to enjoy their time on their own, and the children given the one-on-one attention that is required. It is such a simple program but has a huge impact on the needs of these families. We wish that it could be expanded to help the many who are on the waiting list through the Jewish Child and Family Services.