JF&CS News Spring 2018

Some people think JF&CS does it all. And while it is true that we do a lot, quite simply, we cannot and do not "do it all." Nor should we. We are privileged to live in a region with so many nonprofit organizations, as well as a mecca for healthcare and stellar academic institutions. Headquartered in Waltham, we have opportunities to partner with a variety of businesses. One of my personal priorities is to leverage and increase our collaborations. We have seen first-hand the greater impact we can have on the lives of our clients when we share resources, expertise, and time. Let me share a few recent examples.

We have been working closely with Catholic Charities for many years,referring clients with immigration issues to their legal team. As a result of CJP's initiative last year to raise funds to support immigrants, Catholic Charities has increased their legal staff. As of February, ten of our clients enrolled in our Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas program are working with Catholic Charities on the path to citizenship.

Also in February, we became a One Family Scholars Community Partner. Through this partnership, JF&CS will be working to help break the cycle of poverty and family homelessness for low-income single parents in Massachusetts by promoting pathways to economic independence through advocacy, education, and innovation. And in March, members from our Journey to Safety staff did a training for One Family caseworkers on how to talk to clients experiencing domestic abuse.

Recently, our Parkinson's choral group, which is directed by Marilyn Okonow, was invited to perform at a symposium at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This opportunity gives greater evidence of the impact of music therapy for people with neuro degenerative diseases.

And later this spring, we will begin to expand our Employment Services program, supporting employers in creating job opportunities for people with disabilities. Based on our success working with Babson College, we aim to engage with local academic institutions and companies.

On April 12, we celebrated the Power of Community at our annual Benefit, honoring Barry Shrage. This year's theme is not just a tagline for our event; the Power of Community is at the very core of our work. In the weeks that follow, you will read stories of how our community of clients, funders, volunteers, and collaborative partners are truly improving lives.

For your abundance of support, I am profoundly grateful.