Making Connections
Dear Friend,

Social isolation is not a new phenomenon, but today we are experiencing that phenomenon on steroids. After months of distancing, it’s clear that we are all at risk for the physical and emotional effects of isolation — effects that are especially dangerous for those who have been marginalized in other ways.  

One of the core values of JF&CS is a belief in the power of human connection to support resilience and well-being. That means ensuring that every member of our community feels valued, heard, connected, and safe. You’ll read below about how JF&CS is:

  • Creating connections to break the silence around domestic abuse
  • Providing resources for those caring for parents with dementia
  • Connecting clients with disabilities to the democratic process 

Do you know someone who may be dealing with isolation? Perhaps an older adult who could benefit from our Friendly Visitor program? A new mother who would welcome mentoring support from one of our Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Mom® volunteers? Someone whom Journey to Safety could help escape an abusive situation? Or somebody who has lost their job and is struggling with both isolation and economic hardship? Please contact us at 781-647-JFCS (5327) so we can help. 

Even as we make progress in our work, I know that the challenges will increase. Cooler weather means more time indoors alone. Online school means families are juggling schedules like never before. And of course, each week means more people sick, grieving, and unemployed. 

In the face of these relentless realities, making and keeping caring human connections matters more than ever. As always, JF&CS will be here to foster those connections, and we remain grateful to our staff, volunteers, donors, and partners who make this work possible.
With best wishes,


Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer

PS: If you’d like to be inspired by — and better connected to — our work, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Creating Connections to Break the Silence
Without regular in-person social interaction, we don’t know with much certainty who in our community is “managing” or “doing okay” and who is not. While this social isolation is hard on all of us, it can be disastrous for survivors of domestic abuse. Our current reality has intensified the profound silence surrounding many abuse survivors and created situations that are becoming increasingly difficult and – in some cases – dangerous. Moreover, essential social distancing measures have disrupted some of the few supports that abuse survivors might have had and interfered with even those casual opportunities to connect in an office break room, a busy neighborhood playground, or a post-worship social gathering.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, JF&CS Journey to Safety continues to work with partners statewide to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse feel seen, valued, and connected. Learn how you can spread the message that help is available for survivors of domestic abuse.
Balancing Act Support Group Helps Participant Rediscover Her Strengths
When you’re caring for a parent living with dementia, the risks are high, the demands constant, and the learning curve steep. As you balance the health, wellness, and safety of your parent with the needs of the rest of your family (as well as your own), there is often a tendency to judge yourself harshly. At Balancing Act, our online support group for adults coping with a parent’s dementia, we help participants practice mindful self-compassion. One technique we use is asking participants to write themselves a compassionate letter, as if they were writing to a friend.

Karen, one of our Balancing Act participants, wrote a beautiful and insightful letter that helped her rediscover her strengths. She graciously allowed us to share her letter.   
Holiday Gift Card Drive: Bring Joy to Families in Need
The COVID-19 crisis has hit families with limited resources the hardest. As parents struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, many simply can’t afford holiday presents for their children.

By donating to our Holiday Gift Card Drive, you can bring joy to families in need. We provide parents with gift cards so they can pick out the perfect presents for their children. The last several months have been incredibly stressful, and a new toy, game, or stuffed animal can mean so much to a child.

With your support, JF&CS will provide gift cards for more than 500 children this year. Let’s come together to help families in our community celebrate the holidays. Donate to our Gift Card Drive.
CHAI Disability Services: Making Sure Every Voice is Heard
We all know that the upcoming election is crucial…and confusing. Our CHAI Disability Services team is working hard to ensure that our clients are fully prepared for Election Day. The Supported Housing staff has helped all our residents register for a mail-in ballot; and our CHAI Works programs are running groups about the upcoming election, the candidates, and their position on key topics of interest to our clients. Our goal is to ensure that our clients' voices are not only heard, but that they are well informed when they are voting. We are well on our way to achieving that goal, and so proud of our clients for their commitment to their civic duty!
Upcoming Events and Activities
Online Workshops: The Intersection of Sleep and Feeding (10/27, 10/29, 11/5)

Sleep challenges and feeding challenges are among the most common concerns of families with infants and young children. Learn about the connection between the two and gain practical advice about how to maximize feeding and sleep quality. Workshops are geared to specific ages​: 0 - 9 months, 10 months - 2 years, and 2 - 4 years. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. For more information, please contact Gabrielle Jacobs at gjacobs@jfcsboston.org

Virtual Symposium: Let's Talk About Dementia and Culture (11/10)

Dementia affects every community, but not in the same way. Join us for a conversation about disparities in the risk of developing dementia, and in access to dementia diagnosis, research and care, and to explore cultural values and ways of understanding dementia. The symposium will feature speakers from
African Americans Against Alzheimer’s, Latinos Against Alzheimer’s, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, and several other organizations. Learn more about the virtual event and RSVP here.
Adoption Workshop: Parenting an Infant Exposed to Substances (11/18)

Join JF&CS Project NESST® for a virtual workshop about how adoptive parents can best support infants who have been impacted by substance use disorder. Participants will have opportunities to seek individual consultation and support from NESST staff. Tickets are available through Eventbrite
Weekly Programs and Groups
We are still here for you...virtually!

Although we're not able to meet most of our clients in person due to COVID-19, many of our services are being held online via Zoom. Visit our online calendar to view our weekly programs and groups that can be accessed from home.
jfcsboston.org | 781-647-JFCS (5327)
Waltham Headquarters | Brighton | Canton | Central MA | North Shore
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