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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
  • *** Emergency Relief for Ukraine ***

    As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, our partner, the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, is collecting donations for emergency relief. Contributions will help meet basic needs and provide supplies and housing assistance to Jews in the region. Donate now

  • 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.

  • Children's Mercy Hospital: Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) Clinic Match Campaign for Connective Tissue Diseases

    Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes are a group of 14 connective tissue disorders that cause tissue fragility throughout the body. In one type, dermatosparaxis EDS, approximately half of the patients described in the literature are of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. The Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics includes this in their 50 conditions that occur more frequently among Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews. An EDS clinic at Children's Mercy was started in January of 2020 and is the only EDS clinic in the Kansas City region. The clinic is working hard to expand their care capacity, educate other providers, identify the best EDS treatments and discover new disease-causing genes. This matching campaign will support their efforts. Learn more

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: Unreimbursed Mental Health Expenses

    Counseling is an important component of Jewish Family Services’ offerings. Two-thirds of the clients JFS provides mental health services to are low-income and uninsured. While most of these clinical hours are reimbursed for Jackson County clients, there is not institutional funding for Johnson County clients. Even with support from the Health Forward Foundation, JFS provided $22,000 in counseling for which the agency absorbed the cost. JFS seeks funding to help defray these costs for 2021, which are expected to be on par or greater.

  • 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 Federation: Community Burial Program

    In the Community Burial Program, the Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Services, Rabbinical Association, and Louis Memorial Chapel work together to help pay for the burial of members of the Jewish community who do not have sufficient resources to cover burial expenses and to prevent this burden from falling upon their families. On average, the program covers nine to ten individuals a year. Covered expenses include the casket, grave liner, transportation, and preparation of the body.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Afghan Parolee Support Program

    The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has created a crisis for displaced immigrants. The U.S. Government has decided to classify displaced Afghans as “parolees” rather than “refugees” because obtaining refugee status can take years. This has allowed the individuals to escape their homeland quickly, but the designation prohibits them from receiving services that are eligible only to refugees. JVS plans to provide initial resettlement services, social work services, immigration counseling, job readiness training, job development and placement, and interpreter services to Afghan parolees through the JVS Afghan Parolee Support Program. They anticipate serving 300 people. JVS estimates it needs $1,225 per person.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Community, Health, & Employment

    JVS provides job readiness training and placement services to those unemployed due to barriers to employment such as disabilities, language barriers, COVID-19, and others. JVS social workers also offer intensive family case management and therapy services for both adults and children/youth. JVS provides interpreters and cultural competency training for organizations employing or serving diverse populations, and community orientation and support for new Americans such as refugees and asylees.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Emergency Assistance Program

    In a survey of more than 200 JVS clients, 70% reported facing economic distress due to the pandemic. JVS is requesting funds to help provide direct subsidy, food, diapers, career counseling, and social work for its clients. The JVS Emergency Assistance Program provides one-time financial support in amounts ranging from $100-$500. Last year they aided 616 individuals, providing $94,000 in direct financial assistance.

  • Jewish Vocational Service: Employee Scholarship Program

    The JVS Scholarship Program has been created to provide educational opportunities to those employees of JVS that wish to obtain continuing education, certifications, or degrees in areas of interest that will improve their career prospects. This benefit is intended to assist employees in increasing their effectiveness in their current positions, prepare employees for possible advancement, and/or enhance employees' chances for positions with greater responsibility internally or externally. JVS will review scholarship applications on a semi-annual basis. Eligibility and scoring criteria will favor underserved employees, as many employees of color or employees with countries of origin outside the United States have not had as many opportunities to access higher education.

  • KU Hillel: Mental Health Partnership

    KU Hillel partners with Jewish Family Services to provide students with a licensed therapist, at no cost to students so there is one fewer barrier to seeking help. Additionally, the therapist works with students in small groups on stress management and leads KU Hillel's Stronger Than You Know classes which emphasize a proven upstream approach to reduce harmful behavior and suicide through strong peer mentorship education.

  • Torah Learning Center: Kosher Meals on Wheels

    Many home-bound seniors and disabled people cannot prepare or obtain healthy food for themselves. KC Kosher Meals on Wheels aims to meet that need for the Greater Kansas City Jewish community. Last year, 134 Jewish elderly and disabled people were able to eat healthy and stay in the comfort of their homes, with 20,000 meals delivered via KC Kosher Meals on Wheels.

  • Village Shalom: Financial Assistance Program

    Village Shalom is requesting 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%).

  • Village Shalom: StepOne Recumbent Stepper

    Village Shalom is seeking $6,300 to a purchase a new recumbent stepper with a removable seat. This new equipment will offer Long Term Care residents in wheelchairs an outlet, an activity, and an opportunity to exercise and get out of their unit.