We have several families who come to us facing serious financial situations. We are not an insulated community...Covid has impacted many more than we know. We continually are told, "I never had to ask for help before." This is why we are here. Not to blame, not to cross examine, not to judge. We are here to do what we can to help those in our community who are facing overwhelming financial difficulty. We are a small all volunteer group..but we will do what we can. We can not do everything, but we can do something. We can help with food or a utility payment. And we will discuss special situations. All contacts are confidential.
When a single widowed father has three children remote learning is a challenging situation. We reached out to a generous person in the community and related the story. Within days two more lap tops were delivered to the family.
I. S., a man in his sixties, worked at the same retail store in a local mall for the past 40 years. When Covid caused the shutting of the store, he was left --like many --trying to navigate the unemployement landscape. With unpaid bills accumulating, rent adding up, health insurance a must, he was falling into a deep depression. JSS became aware of his situation. He was able to get unemployement. We helped him pay his most pressing bills and reassure him that he would come out of this situation. Now back to work part time, he is still not where he was, but he now has a positive attitude and a bit of breathing space.
One of the most severe impacts of Covid we see is food insecurrity. Jewish Social Service is sending more than $3000 each month in ShopRite gift cards to families in our community. This is not a one time project, but something we have been doing every month for more than a year.
When you live check to check, as many of our clients, any unexpected cost can throw your life into a tailspin. E.F. has a tight budget, but is able to handle her mortage, utility bills, food, etc. There is nothing left at the end of the month. An unexpected car repair bill of more than $1500 took her mortage payment. JSS was able to pay her mortage for the month. She is once again on a self suffcient prigram.
The M.J. family - husband, wife, and year old baby - were doing fine until the father lost his job. The company closed without warning. No longer able to afford day care, he stayed home while searching for a job. When he was called for an interview it was a difficult situation. They do not have family in the area who they could call on to watch the one year old. Thanks to a day care grant , JSS and a local synagogue were able to provide half day care for the baby. After one month, we are pleased that the father found a good job.
EM was a High School teacher. Ten years ago he was in an automobile accident and is permantly disabled. He has two sons who are challenged. For whatever reason, his wife left the family. EM is sole custodial parent for the two boys. Over the years the Jewish Federation provided camp scholarships to special needs camp. We at JSS helped with utilities and other expenses. Last week the father called and asked for utility payment assistance. We had not heard from him for quite some time. He told us that he was diagnosed with cancer and the 20% co-pays for his chemo are eating into his money. We immediately paid the outstanding bills. We need to say a prayer for him and his two sons.
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- Helping a Family with Young Children
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- Excerpts from a recent Letter
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