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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
  • 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: 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: 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 Federation: Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund

    The Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund will provide aid to Jewish clients who are experiencing need as a result of the pandemic. Funds will be distributed to JFS clients needing financial aid to cover expenses such as housing, food, or medicine. 100% of all contributions will directly support these needs; no administrative costs will be deducted from funds raised. This source of support is a safety net in a time of true and unprecedented crisis.

  • 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: Direct Assistance to Families

    JVS recently surveyed its clients to determine how the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis have impacted them. 140 (70%) out of 200 clients reported job losses or wage reductions. Almost half reported experiencing food insecurity. JVS is raising funds to provide subsidies of up to $600 to help ameliorate the expenses of rent, groceries, medical bills, and other approved costs.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Global Gardens

    Since 2012, JVS has provided gardening beds, plants, and horticultural staff, and interpreters to help refugees grow their own fruits and vegetables in JVS’s community gardens. More than 50% of JVS clients experience food insecurity. The Global Gardens program helps these clients not only access fresh produce, but it also gives them an experience to help Kansas City feel like home. The gardeners also can grow culturally familiar staples like beans and gourds which they will not be able to find in the super market. JVS seeks $5,000 to help pay for the staff who prepare and oversee the gardens.

  • KU Hillel: Mental Health Initiative

    KU Hillel partnered with JFS at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year to provide free counseling with a licensed therapist to Jewish KU students. The program was created to overcome the six-week waiting time experienced by students trying to access counseling via KU’s health services. KU Hillel fosters an environment where students feel comfortable and supported addressing their mental health needs. Since students have left campus, counseling sessions are now conducted via video-conferencing to help students cope with the increased stress, anxiety, and depression associated with social distancing. Because the pandemic has increased demand, additional counseling sessions have been added.

  • 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.

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