Posted by Shirah Hecht

At JF&CS, things are growing. And we don't just mean the number of clients served or the number of emails in the email box. Outside the office, for the second summer in a row, Healthy JF&CS has made it possible for staff to plant and maintain flowers and vegetables – and they are all doing great! There are boxes and boxes of tomatoes, kale (taken by some critters!), basil, rosemary, eggplants, lettuce. These plants are put in by people who, day in and day out, try to plant good seeds in the world of care-taking also. There are offices and offices of people who respond to needs that are financial, emotional, logistical, social; the people served by JF&CS are young and old, living at home or not, in families or on their own in this world, taking care of others or being taken care of, or both. JF&CS also composts what we can, returning the seeds and life of fruits and vegetables to the earth, so that they will support the next season of planting. So, too, those who are helped by JF&CS sometimes become volunteers to help others – taking the fruits of what they have gained, and turning around to help others.

It gives JF&CS staff a nice break to see the plants, whether we're one of those who did the planting or not. And it's an apropos image for the heart of the work that JF&CS does: to help people grow.

Shirah Hecht is a member of the JF&CS Performance and Quality Management team, which traces program outcomes and tracks the range of services provided by the agency. Shirah has years of experience working with education and other non-profits to document and report on program accomplishments. Shirah has also worked for Boston College, JESNA and Brandeis University, has taught in the area, and has been an independent research consultant for projects with CJP. She has a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.