Volunteer News from the Desk of Dana Shapiro
Dear JFCS volunteers,

We hope this finds you well. With the Nov. 3 general election right around the corner, we want to make sure you have a plan to vote if you haven't done so already. Check out mnvotes.org to learn more about how you can vote and what will be on the ballot.

There is still time to sign up to help with voter outreach. JFCS has joined with other Jewish community-based organizations to conduct voter outreach to seniors (Jewish Family Service of St. Paul), youth (National Council of Jewish Women), residents of affordable housing (Jewish Community Action) and food shelf participants (JFCS at PRISM and JCA at ICA). As non-profit organizations, we provide non-partisan information on how to register, update one’s voter registration, request an absentee ballot, vote early, and obtain special accommodations. Click here to register for a remaining shift at PRISM, here for VEAP food shelf (password: JCA), and here for outreach at apartments (password: JCA). Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

In this issue you will find info on:
  • Current Volunteer Opportunities
  • Volunteering with PRISM
  • Volunteer Spotlights
  • See pictures of Volunteers in Action
  • Staff Q&A with Alex Botvinnik, Garber Transportation Supervisor
  • Annual Conference on Mental Health - this Sunday
  • Annual "Laugh on Their Behalf" Benefit – Saturday, Dec. 5
  • COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Aid Fund

Read on to learn about how you and your families can volunteer during this time. We are taking safety precautions with COVID-19 for all of these opportunities and we recognize that not everyone who wants to help will be able to volunteer in person, so we have continued to offer some virtual opportunities as well. We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy and as always, we appreciate your support of JFCS!

Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
& Intake Counselor
dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112
Current Volunteer Opportunities:
New Offering: Bag Delivery for PJ Library Parent Watch Party

We are looking for a few volunteers to pick up movie night kits from JFCS on Thursday, Oct. 22, and deliver them to the homes of parents who have registered by sundown on Friday, Oct. 23.

There will be a total of 10-15 kits to deliver, so the time commitment will be a few hours per volunteer. Everything will be contact-less with this volunteer opportunity.

If you want to sign up to deliver bags, contact Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org to learn more.

New Offering: Fall Raking with JFCS

Do you love being outside in the fall? We are looking for volunteers who are interested in raking leaves for JFCS Senior Services clients who might not have the physical stamina or financial ability to complete the yard work themselves or cover the cost of someone else taking care of it.

In small groups, volunteers will clean up yards of older adults. This provides an opportunity for adults and youth from the community to work together as they help older adults remain in their homes.

You get to decide the date and time that works for you!

Contact Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112 with any questions.

Volunteer with the Hag Sameach (Happy Holidays) Program

We have a lot of opportunities available with Hag Sameach, our gift-giving program, which is the largest volunteer offering at JFCS.
The staff and volunteers work year-round to make this program meaningful for individuals and families who may not have another source for gifts for the holidays.
We are accommodating small groups and individuals in this holiday gift program, involving projects that can be done from home or onsite at JFCS.

Contact Mindy Teele, Hag Sameach Coordinator, at mteele@jfcsmpls.org or 952-542-4870 with any questions.

Make cards for JFCS clients and program participants to brighten their day

Many JFCS clients and program participants are feeling extra isolated during the pandemic and could benefit from feeling more connected to others, especially around holidays.

We are looking for people to participate by writing a note and/or drawing a picture to let someone know that you are thinking about them, wishing them a happy new year and reminding them that they are not alone.

You can also choose to write a more generic note too, as we have volunteers and clients of all faiths and backgrounds.

If this interests you, contact Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org and she will provide you with card making directions.
Volunteer Opportunities at PRISM:
Helping Our Neighbors As Needs Continue to Increase
We are are continuing to provide extra support to our neighboring agency, PRISM Market Place Food Shelf, to supply it with volunteers that can help respond to the growing food needs in the community.

As of today, PRISM moved from a drive-through model of distributing food in pre-packaged boxes from its parking lot to an appointment model where clients reserve a day and time to pick up their box of pre-packaged food.

They are continuously in need of new volunteers and Dana is helping connect volunteers to PRISM.

If this interests you, contact Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org to learn more.

We love hearing from our volunteers and are always looking for different people to highlight. If you are open to being featured in a future monthly Volunteer Spotlight, please email Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org with 'Volunteer Spotlight' in the subject line and she will connect with you. Thanks for your consideration!

JFCS Volunteers have helped in a number of ways these past few months through
Cards for the Community, Hag Sameach shifts in the warehouse, Chanukah in August, NextGen's PRISM Back to School Supply Drive, United Way's Action Day Backpack Delivery, Shalom Baby Swag Bag Delivery, Voter Outreach, NextGen's The Perfect Blend event with
Hag Sameach, and more!

How long have you worked at JFCS and have you always worked with this program?
I have worked with the transportation program at JFCS for 22 years.

How are volunteers involved with Garber Transportation?
We have two types of volunteers with the Garber Transportation program: volunteers who help with the phone line taking ride reservation calls when we are working in the office, and volunteers who supplement our staff drivers by providing rides for the clients. This program has had new volunteers who have started with us in the last year or two, and we are lucky to have had some long standing volunteers as well, who have been volunteering with the transportation program for over 15 years.

What is your favorite part about your job and working with volunteers?
My favorite part of working with the Garber Transportation program is helping people who lost the ability to drive. It is a great feeling to work with volunteers who are dedicated to help.

The COVID-19 Emergency Financial Aid Fund
Are you experiencing financial need directly related to the coronavirus pandemic or economic downturn? We are able to respond to financial needs by providing assistance in a variety of ways, including scholarships, grants and no-interest loans.

>Click here for more information or call 952-546-0616.

Phone calls, applications and assistance if eligible will be kept completely confidential.
For more information about Volunteer Services at JFCS, contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis
5905 Golden Valley Rd | Golden Valley, MN 55422
952-546-0616 | 952-593-1778 fax | www.jfcsmpls.org