At our annual meeting on Thursday, May 19, we will feature our SOS Pittsburgh program, which serves as a safety net of last resort for individuals and families who otherwise would fall through the cracks of the social service system. For hundreds of families, SOS Pittsburgh is the difference between a lifetime of hardship or a chance to live life with dignity.
SOS Pittsburgh was established in 2005 with the help of Edgar and Sandy Snyder. The Snyders established similar programs in the Former Soviet Union. Realizing that there are also great needs right here in Pittsburgh, they approached JF&CS to create this program in their home community.
We refer to SOS Pittsburgh as a “safety net of last resort.” Our SOS Pittsburgh social service and critical needs coordinator works intensively with each family to understand the issues they are facing and to come up with a plan for helping them. She connects them to any and all applicable community resources and, when no other resource is available, petitions the SOS Pittsburgh committee, a group of dedicated community volunteers who thoughtfully evaluates each case and makes funding recommendations.
Pittsburgh generally is perceived as an affluent community, but here at JF&CS, we see every side of the community. Even in the best of times, there will be people who are struggling. With the recent economic crisis, the need has grown considerably. People who never thought they would need help now are turning to us for critical aid.
SOS Pittsburgh is a program of which we all can be very proud. I hope you will join us at the JF&CS Annual Meeting on May 19 to learn more about it. The meeting starts at 6:30pm at Temple Sinai. SOS Pittsburgh committee chair Barbara Shapira is the chair of the evening’s event. Click here to RSVP online.
We had a quote on our recent annual report: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
We are grateful to the Snyders, the many other donors who have joined them since the inception of the program, our volunteers who help evaluate each case, the hardworking staff of SOS Pittsburgh and to the more than one thousand people who support Jewish Family & Children’s Service. We are grateful to you for believing you can make a difference and for choosing JF&CS as a vehicle through which you do.