July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest Hosts Volunteer Appreciation Event

Reading Buddies volunteers.

(Courtesy of JFSMW) Jewish Family Service of MetroWest (JFSMW) held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Event on June 4, at Richfield Regency in Verona. This year, the event was named and supported by Merle Glass, in honor of her husband Kenneth Glass, z”l.

This past year, 254 volunteers have served through the JFSMW Maxine Myers Volunteer Services department, helping thousands of people.

The Reading Buddies program enabled volunteers to read to 1,068 children in the public school districts. Teachers unanimously shared that this program is needed now more than ever. With test scores still lagging from the pandemic and pressures mounting on children and teachers to get caught up, having that 30-minute weekly or biweekly opportunity to sit down and engage with a book and their reader was priceless for the students.

Listen to Children volunteers.

Listen to Children had its first full year back in person with Listeners serving in-person and virtually. Students were reported to have better behavior and better engagement in their classrooms.

SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) volunteers continued to help answer Medicare questions in the community. SHIP Counselors logged over 1,100 client contacts assisting with everything from basic Part D plan comparisons to the most complicated Medicare unwinding cases. As this program goes on, we find Medicare’s changes become more complicated and harder for clients to understand. JFSMW SHIP counselors continue to rise to the challenge.

JFSMW In-Home Programs continue to grow. In the last year, 484 visits were made to homebound older adults through programs such as Friendly Visiting and Tessie’s Touch. Tessie’s Touch volunteers have visited clients, brought them birthday cakes, taken them to the movies, botanical gardens and plays. They’ve even made visits to clients on hospice in their homes.

SHIP volunteers.

Recently, JFSMW received funding from the Jewish Federations of North America to launch the Caregiver Respite Program. This enables the caregivers of a loved one with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other long-term illness to have a break while a volunteer visits with their loved one.

Shop and Drop is being revived thanks to funding from the Jewish Federations of North America. The volunteer grocery delivery program ran during the pandemic, and given the continued need in the community will continue to be available.

The JFSMW Meal Delivery volunteers delivered over 447 meals and 135 holiday packages to 150 homebound Holocaust survivors and older adults throughout Essex, Morris and the surrounding areas.

Volunteers from JFS In-Home programs.

To learn more about our volunteer programs, please visit:

www.jfsmetrowest.org/volunteer

 

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