April 8, 2020
JFS News – Caring for Our Community during the Coronavirus Health Crisis
From Lino Covarrubias, CEO
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
The last four weeks have brought unprecedented changes and challenges. JFS has been at the forefront of the community response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our staff is so impressive and committed, and they have quickly responded to the needs of the most vulnerable, including older adults and immigrant children and families. Our community partnerships have proved to be invaluable during this time.
We have commenced an aggressive communications campaign (via remote calls and video chat) to all of our older adult clients, and we have prioritized clients who need assistance with immediate basic needs. With our older adult population, we are working closely with the Framingham Housing Authority, 2Life Communities, and BayPath Elder Services to ensure our response proceeds in a coordinated fashion. We have conducted over 900 calls/video chats to connect with our older adults and ascertain their needs.
We have partnered with Daniel’s Table as our main food provider of prepared meals. So far, JFS has delivered or distributed over 1,500 meals. David Blaise from Daniel’s Table and his crew have been amazing in their response. And as I write this note, Daniel’s Table is preparing over 500 Passover appropriate meals for our Jewish clients, which will go out today. I also want to highlight our great partner, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), for their Seder in a Box Campaign. CJP is making such a huge impact in Metrowest and, in addition, have raised $40,000 (to date) to help JFS with our direct service work. Click for a link to new and important resources from CJP.
We continue to worry about the local immigrant community, especially undocumented families and children. We have received a generous matching gift of $50,000 from the Shapiro Foundation to be used specifically to address the needs of these extremely vulnerable community members. As many of you know, the Shapiro Foundation was a main funder and supporter of our Syrian Humanitarian effort of a few years ago. Their continued support of the most at-risk in our community is heartwarming. This funding and other funding from the Metrowest Health Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation will allow JFS to respond to current basic needs.
We have a great relationship with the Framingham Public Schools. Schools are closed until May 4th, which produces a hardship for the 3,000 Framingham students who depend on free/reduced breakfast and lunch every day (30% of the entire district). The district has set up four sites in Framingham where parents can bring students to pick up a packaged breakfast and lunch for the student. JFS has a table at the Wilson Elementary School, and we have distributed over 1,000 items of food, toiletries, and hygiene products. I am happy to report a new partnership with Dignity Matters (a non-profit providing feminine products) and an expanded partnership with Hope and Comfort (a non-profit providing toiletries and hygiene products). We are so pleased to be able to accelerate our partnership with these amazing organizations.
Here are a few great posts of our response in case you missed them:
And click here for a great list of additional resources. Please reach out if you know someone that needs assistance. We are here to help.
I wish you, along with your families, friends, and all of our brave and committed health care providers and first responders, a happy Passover, Easter, Ramadan and a spring filled with hope and renewal.
With a big virtual hug,
Lino Covarrubias, CEO and the entire JFS Team
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