Posted by Robert and Shari Cashman

2017 was a pivotal year for JF&CS on the North Shore. In our role as co-chairs of the North Shore Ambassador committee, we've been privileged to see the expansion of Family Table, now serving 56 families and individuals on the North Shore, with a total of 74 volunteers helping to facilitate the monthly distributions and delivery of food to clients. We've seen the number of clients grow in Café Hakalah to more than 55 individuals in the first two years of the program. However, an increase in participants isn't the only measure of success. What used to be a group of individual survivors coming to watch a performance is now a community that gathers monthly to chat, share holidays, and enjoy Yiddish, Russian, and classical music performed by members of our own Greater Boston community. The warmth in the room is palpable, due in large part to the consistent group of volunteers that attend each month, providing food, rides, and friendly conversation to the Café Hakalah participants.

Starting this month, the Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson's Family Support program will run an eight-session Parkinson's Disease Care Partner Support Group in partnership with Harriet and Ralph Kaplan Estates and the American Parkinson's Disease Association.

In addition, we've launched a new Parent Support group for parents with infants under 12 months in Salem, and maintain a thriving Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program based in the North Shore.

Due, in large part, to our committed group of volunteers, donors and staff, we've seen a stunning increase in donor and volunteer engagement with JF&CS. We saw 20 North Shore women join us at last year's Women's Breakfast, an event that raised more than $250,000 to benefit the Center for Early Relationship Support®. This year we are proud to be co-chairs of the JF&CS Benefit honoring CJP President Barry Shrage, who has dedicated his career to mobilizing people to make change, grow community, and deepen our connections to each other through tzedakah and learning. Joining us in support of the Benefit are three honorary co-chairs from the North Shore as well as seven active committee members.

We invite you to join us on April 12 at the Castle at Park Plaza for the 2018 JF&CS Benefit. By supporting the Benefit, through your attendance and/or a gift of any size, you are helping us to serve the approximately 14,000 clients that JF&CS works with every year through our network of 40 programs. We look forward to seeing you there.