Message from a JFS client: “You brought joy to my children’s faces”

October 16, 2015

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I am someone from the local Jewish community—in fact you may even know my family and not realize we have been going through rough times. It was (and still is) very hard to admit that we need help. Thankfully Jewish Family Service—and the donors who support their work—have been there to help me and my family. Why do we need help? I got sick and needed to have surgery. I was unable to return to work for several months afterward and lost my job. Suddenly, we went from a very comfortable living situation to one where we weren’t sure we’d even have a place to live.

I called JFS in the spring and they immediately gave me food for my family and helped with rent and medical bills. As Thanksgiving grew closer, JFS surprised me with a frozen turkey, fresh potatoes, vegetables, and stuffing. The next help came through the JFS Chanukah Gift Program. I had heard of this program for local Jewish families with children and even contributed to it in years past. This past year, my three children were showered with so many wonderful gifts and items we needed for our home: new bed comforters and matching sheets, lots of great clothes in their sizes and favorite colors, sports stuff (tennis balls and footballs), family games, books, a music stand for my child who was taking lessons, new winter gloves and jackets for all three children, and even gift cards for movies and ice cream. Plus, we received Chanukah gift wrapping paper, chocolate gelt, and holiday decorations. We will use the Chanukah-themed placemats and new menorah for many years to come.

My family would not have had any gifts during last Chanukah or other new things for the rest of the year. I was proud to be able to give them so much as a result of coming to JFS. My family enjoyed a brighter holiday and year. Each night of gifts for Chanukah brought joy to my children’s faces. Whenever you wonder if your gifts, foods, or money helps people, please remember my story and know that it helped my family so very much. first person

How to help

Purchase new, unwrapped gifts, both fun and practical for specific children and teens in need. Donors may call JFS at 757-459-4640 for children’s wish lists starting Monday, Nov. 2.

Go shopping with your family and buy some extra items for those in need.

Send JFS gift cards from local department stores, electronics stores, music stores, and grocery stores, so that families can go shopping themselves.

Send JFS a tax deductible cash donation, and JFS will do the shopping.

All Chanukah donations must be received by Nov. 18, 2015. Checks should be made payable to Jewish Family Service and sent to JFS, Attention: Maryann Kettyle, 260 Grayson Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Jewish Family Service assists local Jewish families in need at all times of the year and will keep any surplus donations for use throughout 2015-2016. For more information, contact Maryann Kettyle, Special Needs Case Manager, at JFS: (757) 459-4640 or MKettyle@jfshamptonroads.org.

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