Each year at JF&CS, we work tirelessly to strengthen individuals and families who are experiencing hardship and crises. And each year, we strive to continue to serve the growing number of individuals and families who turn to us in their most desperate times of need. In the midst of a troubling economy, we are working harder than ever to ensure that a better day is always within reach, for everyone who walks through our door.
So many are struggling in our community–with unemployment, food insecurity, caring for a loved one-or themselves–and seek out the extensive and innovative programs, resources and support we provide.
For individuals like Jacob*, this assistance is a “lifesaver.”
…Jacob was married, and after losing his job shortly following the birth of their infant daughter, he and his wife were desperate. In the midst of the economic downturn, neither was able to find sufficient employment and the food stamp benefits they received were not nearly enough to cover their monthly food expenses, especially while trying to provide for an infant.
JF&CS had helped Jacob in the past, and he knew the realm of services provided by JF&CS would meet his family’s needs. He turned to JF&CS’s Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry for help. The Pantry Coordinator immediately provided emergency food for his family, and enrolled him as a client so he could continue to receive the monthly food assistance he and his family needed to survive. He also was grateful for the multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables he received each month, which allowed him to prepare homemade baby food for his infant daughter.
Through the Pantry, Jacob was referred to JF&CS’s Career Development Center and worked with a career consultant who eventually connected him to a full-time job opportunity in the Squirrel Hill community–and he landed it.
Jacob and his wife have since divorced, and he now has full custody of his daughter. He is still working at his job in Squirrel Hill, and visits the Pantry twice a month in order to help them continue to get by. While he acknowledges that living in Squirrel Hill is expensive, it is important to Jacob that he and his daughter are part of Squirrel Hill’s strong Jewish community, and he is appreciative of the Pantry’s help in providing kosher and traditional holiday foods to help him continue Jewish traditions with his daughter.
“As I’ve gone through life’s changes, I’ve always turned to JF&CS,” Jacob said. “JF&CS has been a lifesaver for me and my family.”
Jacob’s story is one of the thousands of examples of the necessary and impactful work we do every day at JF&CS, and your support is essential to keeping that work going. We hope you feel inspired by his experience to join the donors, supporters, staff, board, volunteers and community and foundation partners who help drive our work every day.
We recently mailed our annual appeal, and I wanted to remind you that JF&CS supporters will have the opportunity increase their impact by donating to JF&CS on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59:59 p.m., during The Pittsburgh Foundation’s annual Day of Giving. We’ll send you detailed instructions on October 3rd, and I hope you’ll consider making your annual gift of support on this special Day of Giving.
Every one of us at JF&CS is committed to improving lives–every day, for every client–and your support directly helps us to deliver on that promise. Thank you for partnering with us to make a difference in thousands of lives.
*While this is an actual client story, the client’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.