On June 30th, JFS’ 2018-2019 fiscal year ends and we are proud to have continued a 170 year old tradition of caring for Richmond’s citizens, seniors and families and broadening our reach to transform more lives.
We began this year with all of Richmond’s Jewish organizations coming together to create the Richmond Jewish Care Line to respond to Jewish individuals and families in crisis. Today, when someone makes a call to 804-525-8299, the Jewish Care Line number, they are connected with caring and experienced JFS Care Managers who will confidentially work with them, side by side, on the issues they are facing. In eight months, the Richmond Jewish Care Line has supported 27 members of the Richmond Jewish Community throughout their journey back to stability.
Also in the fall, JFS’ 1st Vice-President, Sandy Sisisky challenged her friends to be the difference for low-income seniors by purchasing fresh packages of underclothes, socks, and hygiene products for JFS low-income clients who would normally go without these basic necessities. Because of Sandy’s success, JFS established the Care Closet and asked the Jewish Community to continue to collect items along with gift cards. Through the generosity of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond board, the JFS board and individual donors, JFS low-income clients have access to toiletries and new clothing and can look forward to special occasions with their caregivers.
This year we continued to expand our services by providing low-income seniors who often face financial challenges like tax issues, high debt burden, elder financial abuse, or financial scams with one-on-one consulting to help ease their financial burdens. Thanks to a Thrive grant from United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, JFS certified personnel will help those who cannot afford these services for free. We have already been able to assist a handful of clients and are looking forward to continuing to help others as needed.
During the year we also continued to pursue our mission of transforming lives with Connecting Hearts at JFS. Connecting Hearts works with the Department of Social Services to find adoptive families through our heart galley, match events and 30 kids in 30 days campaign with CBS 6. We are grateful to have Connecting Hearts as part of our team and proud to be a part of finding the children in foster care their forever families.
Back in 2017, JFS started our PCA School to provide high-quality education and certification to aspiring health care workers. Because of the last two years of positive feedback and success, in April, JFS expanded our reach and opened the JFS East End PCA School. Currently, 16 East End residents are receiving their 46-hour training to be a PCA and start their home health career assisting JFS’ senior clients with daily activities. This current class is at capacity and there is a waitlist for future East End PCA classes, providing East End residents the opportunity to begin their career in the fastest growing field in health care. Also, by providing the East End residents with PCA training, more East End seniors will have the opportunity to stay in their own homes as they age with JFS Home Care. This would not have been possible without our community partners: The Peter Paul Development Center; Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority; Bon Secours, VCU Pathways program; VCU Health Impact; Richmond Public Schools; and Head Start.
We are grateful to have all of our community partners as part of our mission of Transforming Lives and Strengthening our Community. One new partner this year was a team of Executive MBA Students at VCU made possible by a generous gift from Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods. JFS served as a case study for a team of VCU Executive MBA students as they researched how to best market care management services in Richmond. We learned valuable insights about the business of health care and how to best brand JFS to expand the number of lives transformed.
It is also a year full of celebration. Established in 1849; JFS is now 170 years old! We began our 170th year by hosting reunions honoring our history and will culminate in our 170th Birthday Party. We hope you will join us on October 6th from 4 – 6 pm at the Virginia War Memorial as we celebrate our past, present, and future.