Skip to main content

Social & Emergency Services

Refugee kids helped through Jewish Vocational Services
Refugee kids helped through Jewish Vocational Services

Current Community Needs

Listed below are current community needs in the area of Social and Emergency Services. If you have any questions or to make a donation, please contact Beatrice Fine or log in to DonorCentral to give through your Donor Advised Fund.

J-LEAD members and families volunteering in the JFS Food Pantry
  • Coronavirus Relief

    During these challenging times, vulnerable populations need our help more than ever. While the charitable response to the pandemic is unparalleled in comparison to other disaster giving, it's critical to keep in mind the effect that the coronavirus will have on nonprofit organizations through which much public assistance is delivered. How to help

  • The J: Special Needs Inclusion Programming – CDC and Camp

    The J’s goal is to build the capacity and effectiveness of its Child Development Center and Day Camp to be more inclusive and welcoming to children with special needs. They hope to achieve: positive academic and social impact for students with disabilities; an environment that nurtures the whole child and fosters strong partnerships with all families; greater program participation and success by all children who benefit from a highly-trained, multidisciplinary staff; and, a more diverse, respectful community.

  • Jewish Family Services: Adult Incontinence Products

    JFS has experienced a large increase in need for adult incontinence products from both their Food Pantry and care management clients. JFS provides one week’s worth of food to Pantry clients and aims to do the same with clients who need adult briefs. Adult incontinence products are expensive, about $53/month from Costco, and are seldom available to JFS through other sources like Harvesters. Incontinence is a huge quality of life issue for the people who suffer from it and a hardship for them and their caregivers when they don’t have what they need.

  • Jewish Family Services: Chaplaincy Program

    When faced with a life crisis, many people feel isolated and disconnected from the Jewish community and traditions. They often need spiritual counseling but have no rabbi or congregation for support. The Chaplaincy Program serves as a central address for Jewish spiritual care, with an emphasis on reaching out to unaffiliated Jews dealing with illness, bereavement, or other health and healing challenges.

  • Jewish Family Services: Food Pantry

    The JFS Food Pantry responds to the ever-growing need for direct food assistance in Kansas City. It provides staples such as grains, dairy and protein, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Both VAAD-supervised kosher and non-kosher food options allow JFS to offer greater food quantity, quality and selection. Personal care and household items are available as they come in. Volunteers and donations are always needed so that the pantry remains fully stocked all year.

  • Jewish Family Services: Help @ Home

    Help @ Home supports older adults’ desires to age in place and to remain independent, comfortable and in control of their daily lives for as long as they choose to stay in their homes. The program provides dependable home repair and chore services, computer troubleshooting, home organizing, home safety assessments, information and referral and educational programs. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Jewish Family Services: JET Express

    JET Express utilizes community volunteers, driving their own vehicles, to provide transportation to older adults, helping to ensure they are able to access required medical treatment, perform necessary tasks such as grocery shopping, and enjoy outings such as going to the hairdresser, synagogue, or visiting with friends.

  • Jewish Family Services: Personal Hygiene Supplies

    JFS recently expanded its Missouri pantry and is now serving 35% more clients. In addition to food, the pantry provides clients with other household staples not covered by food stamps, including paper goods, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, feminine hygiene and incontinence supplies. $385 would provide one-week of hygiene products for pantry clients, while $1,650 would provide a 30-day supply.

  • Jewish Family Services: You Be You

    Through "You Be You," JFS staff work with student groups at individual schools to create a comprehensive mental health campaign. The cost per school is $4,000. Funding has been secured for fifteen of the twenty-three schools which wish to participate.

  • Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City: Indigent Burial Expenses

    For many years, Jewish Family Services, the Rabbinical Association, and local clergy have partnered with Louis Memorial Chapel to provide burials for those in our community whose families don’t have the financial resources for these expenses. The community is seeing a spike in those needing assistance. The Jewish Federation is spearheading fundraising efforts to raise resources specifically for this need through the Chesed Fund. The average expense for a modest funeral is $8,000. With donated services, this is reduced to $2,000 for materials and services provided at cost (casket, grave liners, etc.) and excavation.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Community Connections

    JVS is seeking funding to provide programming that brings together members of the Jewish and refugee communities. They would like to offer three programs a year, at a cost of roughly $3,000 each.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Global Gardens Part-Time Staff

    JVS Global Gardens has developed 4 community garden sites since 2012, growing high quality vegetables and fruits on vacant lots in the historic Northeast region of Kansas City. The project involves new refugees in a range of agricultural projects that improve their livelihoods and economic self-sufficiency. The project currently targets 21 refugee families representing the following countries: Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Somalia, and Iran. Refugee growers learn all the basics of urban gardening in the Midwest, including climate, soil, seeds, water use, planting, weeding, post-harvest handling, food safety, composting, and mulching. Funding of $5,000 is needed to provide a part-time seasonal staff person to help train growers and volunteers.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Health & Wellness Services

    $250 can provide supplies for play therapy services, $1000 can provide 8 hours of therapy, including the support of a trained mental health interpreter, for a client suffering from PTSD, $2500 one semester of after school narrative therapy for refugee youth
    Medical Case Management: Assists in securing basic medical screenings for all refugees and ongoing support for those with chronic or severe issues.
    Social Work Program: Provides refugees and immigrants with advocacy, community resource referral, and individual and group therapy for at-risk adults and youth.
    Refugee Family Strengthening Program: Provides relationship enhancement trainings, case management and employment support to help refugee families and individuals reduce stress and family conflict and improve communication.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: New American Services

    $250 can buy backpack, uniform and school supplies for a refugee family with 3 kids, $1,000 provide interpretation for a 4-session cultural orientation course, $2500 can cover rent and utilities for a family of 7 for one month.
    Reception and Placement: Provides initial core needs, including housing, clothing, benefits enrollment and community resource referral for refugees.
    Cultural Orientation: Provides education and training in adapting to life in the United States.
    Immigration Counseling: Assists individuals and families to complete family-based immigration applications, applications to adjust to permanent resident status, and citizenship applications.
    Language and Cultural Services: Provides skilled interpreters for JVS and other entities, interpreter education, and cultural competency training to local organizations and health-care providers.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Project SOAR (Strengthening Opportunities for Adolescent Refugees)

    Refugee Youth face many challenges in succeeding in the U.S. school system. This project addresses a number of the barriers and provides a support system for students and their families. Refugee children have to learn to speak English, adjust to a very different environment, learn new cultural norms, and make new friends. In addition, refugee youth have often experienced trauma from their migration experience and years in the refugee camps, which leads to an increased prevalence of depression and anxiety. They are also frequent targets of bullying in school, as their language, religion and culture differs dramatically from their American-born peers. JVS provides these youth, through the support of a social worker and play therapist, tools and materials needed to help them express and cope with their experiences in a healthy way.

  • KU Hillel: Mental Health Initiative

    KU Hillel will partner with Jewish Family Services to provide a designated therapist to help ease mental health challenges faced by students at the University of Kansas. The current average wait time for a student to access this type of care through the university is six weeks.

  • National Council of Jewish Women: Suitcase to Start

    Suitcase to Start is designed to help youth aging out of the foster care system in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Working with CASA of Jackson County and CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, NCJW provides new supplies including sheets, towels, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, and personal items to help teens set up their first homes. The furnishings alleviate some of the financial strain of the moving process, and provide teens with a sense that others care about them as they enter adulthood. The goal for the first year is to provide suitcases for 35 local youths aging out of foster care.

  • Neshei Chabad of Chabad House Center of KC: Simcha Gifts

    Simcha Gifts is a program geared to all Jewish seniors in the Greater Kansas City area who live in nursing homes, retirement centers, and private homes. The goal of Simcha Gifts is to bring the joy and caring of Jewish tradition to seniors during the Jewish holidays, a time when the elderly may feel alone and isolated. More than 400 holiday gift packages are assembled and delivered five times a year prior to the major Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot. A total of 2,000 Simcha Gifts will be delivered to Jewish seniors this year.

  • Torah Learning Center: Kosher Meals on Wheels

    In this program, volunteers deliver nutritious kosher meals to elderly and/or disabled populations. Along with the food, the volunteers bring joy, conversation, community connection and friendship to the isolated participants. The program currently provides 40 people with meals 5 days a week.