We work with WJCS in helping to manage their employee benefits program. It has been a privelage to work with such a dedicated staff who help so many people in the community. I have participated in many of their events and I've been impressed with how many programs they provide and all the people they serve. Recently, I attended a luncheon that WJCS had scheduled to thank the sponsors of their "back to school - clothes for kids" program. At that luncheon, we heard great stories from some of the people whose lives were changed by these WJCS programs. These stories brought tears to my eyes because you saw the impact these services have for people in need.
Review from Guidestar
Our story begins over four years ago when Alison and myself were attending counseling at WJCS in Yorktown Heights. Alison firmly believed that private and group counseling would bring her some peace emotionally though her emotions were taking a terrible toll on her physically. I originally had my doubts. It became a gradual undertaking for me to go to counseling. Throughout our marriage, Alison was confronted with continual physical hardships and I found myself as her daily caregiver. Believe me, I did not mind. I did not know at the time, I was lost in Alison's frightening world. My life was her life. Here we were trying to gain our individuality, yet we were hopelessly co-dependent on each other. We were making some headway thanks to our counselors, Jillian Desidideria(?) and Lisa Peltin(?) Little did either of us know that our world would come crashing down. During our counseling at WJCS, we found out that Alison had incurable lung cancer. Devastation doesn't even come close to how we felt. And believe me, we both needed help. During the agonizing months ahead The Westchester Jewish Community Services became our strength, our guide, our support. As I look back, it was all too surreal. I will always be grateful for their continual assistance....when nothing made sense. Such comforting people as Rabbi Pamela Wax and counselor Nicki Weiss would come to our home on a weekly, and often on a daily, basis as the days slowly ebbed away for both of us. Just to sit down and talk with us, to make suggestions, to understand who we were. Alison knew way before I how WJCS was able to assist us with that trying and unbearable journey. I look back at those months, which seemed like days, to know how comforting they were. Alison died on October 10, 2006. She was always worried about me because that was her way. Ali would have been very proud to know that I continued to go to counseling; I must say that it has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. My heartfelt appreciation goes to Jillian and Lawrence Goodman, both of whom are no longer with WJCS. I truly do not know where I'd be today. It is not easy to live the words, "I must move on......." It is much easier said than done. Granted, the pain is no less than the day Alison died.......but I have moved on .....with greater awareness of my needs and what is important to me. Now the story comes full circle. The people at WJCS not only helped me through my agony, but I have finally found myself. And I am thankful for this.
In my previous experience working with a nonprofit, I saw how important WJCS is to our local community. Time and again they provided vital services to patients in need. These services included both social work services and financial aid. I was always impressed by their professionalism and extraordinary efforts to serve people in need. In these tough financial times, I am glad to know that my donations go to help such a worthy organization provide these greatly needed services.
I've personally seen the effect this organization has had on the communities of Westchester; in particular, I visited one of the group homes and saw how the individuals there were so happy to have the companionship in the home and were so grateful to WJCS for their assistance.
Responsive to the community -- Connect to Care is helping many members of the Jewish community get back on their feet. Havorah connects people with disabilities to Jewish celebrations