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.
- Chabad at KU: Student Safety Net Initiative
- The J: Staffing for Special Needs Students
- Jewish Family Services: Adult Incontinence Products
- Jewish Family Services: Chaplaincy Program
- Jewish Family Services: Family Empowerment Program
- Jewish Family Services: Food Pantry
- Jewish Family Services: Kesher KC
- Jewish Family Services: Personal Hygiene Supplies
- Jewish Family Services: You Be You
- Jewish Vocational Service: Workforce Development
- Neshei Chabad of Chabad House Center of KC: Simcha Gifts
- Torah Learning Center: Kosher Meals on Wheels
- Village Shalom: Financial Assistance Program
Chabad at KU: Student Safety Net Initiative
The University of Kansas currently has a six-week wait time for students needing to access KU’s mental health services. Chabad at KU tries to address the emotional well-being of students in both formal and informal ways. They offer a 24-hour hotline, a service where students (or their parents) can request matzo ball soup to be personally delivered by the Rabbi or Mrs. Tiechtel, and also regularly check in on students. Formally, they provide classes on suicide prevention, stress management and positivity training, and also provide subsidies for students to visit Lawrence-based therapists.
The J: Staffing for Special Needs Students
The Jewish Community Center is one of the only programs in this geographic area which provides full-day childcare, after school care, summer camp, and snow/vacation day programming for special needs children. The J is requesting underwriting to help cover the cost of para-professional staff, so they do not have to pass the expense on to the families.
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
Chaplain Jonathan Rudnick and his team of volunteers provide spiritual care for Jewish individuals in hospitals, hospice centers and eldercare institutions. Because of the pandemic, they have transitioned most visits from in-person to virtual visits and are using phone, email, letters, and online technology to provide care.
Jewish Family Services: Family Empowerment Program
This collaborative program between the Shawnee Mission School District and JFS offers help to families who are at risk of being homeless. A social worker provides financial planning, mental health services, and access to the Food Pantry and other JFS services. The program is currently serving 32 families, including 52 children.
Jewish Family Services: Food Pantry
Jewish Family Services Food Pantry served over 2,000 Kansas City residents last year. Many of the clients have health issues, so JFS has closed its on-site pantries to make sure that social distancing measures are followed. Most clients place grocery orders and pick up their food at JFS. Others have the food delivered. JFS expects its client load to increase substantially as the economic fallout of the pandemic become more apparent.
Jewish Family Services: Kesher KC
The Kesher program places trained volunteers and social workers in the Food Pantry where they may easily refer Food Pantry clients to social work, financial, and employment services.
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
You Be You is a school-based mental health promotional campaign directed toward helping teenagers build resilience and connectedness, and better cope with risk factors that contribute to mental health problems. Since over half of mental health problems generally surface between the ages of 14 and 24, it is important to bring young people into conversations about mental health. You Be You works with the staff, student groups, and administration at each participating school to customize a partnership meeting the unique needs and challenges of each individual school while complementing the resources already offered.
Jewish Vocational Service: Workforce Development
JVS’s Workforce Development Department helps the organization respond to the increasing unemployment rate which has risen because of COVID-19. Services include job readiness, training, and placement services.
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
For many years, KC Kosher Meals and Wheels has delivered a week’s worth of meals to home-bound seniors. Since COVID-19 hit, they have been serving nearly 60 individuals. Some of these include active seniors who would usually get lunches at The J’s Heritage Center, which has been closed because of the pandemic. The program has another major unbudgeted expense: they have had to hire a small staff to prepare the food. Up until the pandemic, meals were prepared by caring volunteers. Social distancing has rendered this method of food prep unsafe for both the volunteers and the recipients.
Village Shalom: Financial Assistance Program
Village Shalom is seeking financial assistance for residents who have outlived their monetary resources. One in four Village Shalom residents requires financial aid. The assistance program helps 13 general community residents (36%) and 23 who identify as Jewish (64%).