JF&CS Volunteer News Spring 2015

Rimma ZelfandWe recently received a check for $20 from a six-year-old boy. The grandson of one of our Board members, he had volunteered with his family at JF&CS Family Table, New England's largest kosher food pantry, and he was so moved that he decided to do more. Something about his experience as a volunteer struck a chord so deep within his six-year-old soul that he knew he had to continue on his mission to help those less fortunate in the community.

At JF&CS, we have many opportunities for volunteers to help others. Family Table regularly utilizes volunteers in all aspects of the collection and distribution of food to hungry families. Our award-winning Lauren and Mark Rubin® Visiting Moms program is dependent on volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of new mothers. In 2014 alone, we had nearly 2,200 volunteers contribute almost 21,000 volunteer hours throughout the agency. Without these volunteers, many of our programs would cease to exist.

As we celebrate our 150th birthday this year, we continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Our roster of new and innovative programs affords even more ways for potential volunteers to get involved with our agency. Shoulder to Shoulder offers peer-to-peer support for families faced with the unique challenges that accompany military service. Like the Visiting Moms program, trained volunteers are the backbone of this new service. Our new Challah Baking program brings synagogue volunteers together to bake fresh challahs and deliver them to people with disabilities in JF&CS supported living houses so that they can enjoy a traditional Jewish Shabbat.

Our volunteers even take existing programs in new directions so that more people can benefit. Our Parkinson's Dance program now incorporates a wonderful volunteer who mimics the instructor in a seated position so that anyone can participate and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of dance and movement.

I often hear from our volunteers that they get back as much as they give and I truly believe that volunteerism empowers people, families, and children. By doing something that makes a difference in the life of another, a volunteer can realize the transformative power of changing lives. It teaches children about the social responsibility that comes with being an adult - and perhaps later in life, that child will be prepared to make a difference on a global scale. If one six-year-old has already discovered a passion for volunteering, imagine what he and others like him will do for our community in the future.

For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.