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2018 / 5778           

Dear JCS Volunteers,

To our special volunteers, volunteering is not seasonal or sporadic. Even though there are times during the year that we have additional community-wide volunteer opportunities, such as our School Supply Drive and our Toy Closet, you continue to provide the support our clients need throughout the year.
The hallmark of all of our incredible volunteers is that you do not do this work because you want the acknowledgement. You give of your hearts and your time to simply assist others. We certainly hope there are occasions when those whose lives you have touched say "thank you" and let you know how appreciated you are. We also hope each and every one of you knows how much our staff values what you do for our clients, the agency and our community. Without you providing the 7,200 hours of service last year, totaling a value of approximately $192,000, our staff and our clients could not have reached the goals that they desired.
Your expression of kindness by giving of your time makes a tremendous impact on the lives of others. JCS certainly understands the great significance of volunteering. But JCS is not alone. That is why the month of April is National Volunteer Month and is dedicated to honoring our volunteers. We could not think of a worthier group to be honored!!
Thank you for all you do each and every day to make JCS a stronger agency that has the ability to serve our clients in meaningful and successful ways.
Wishing you an enjoyable spring.  

With much appreciation,

Allison Magat
Joan Grayson Cohen
Executive Director
Beth Land Hecht
Senior Manager, Community Engagement


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Join us as we celebrate YOU 
at Jewish Community Services' Annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch
Sunday, April 15th.

The Jewish Big Brother Big Sister program recently held its first Open House at the Park Heights JCC. Several of our matches turned out to enjoy pizza and spend some quality time with one another. The event also generated much interest among community members who dropped by to find out more about our program.

On Sunday, March 4th, several matches from the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Program enjoyed bowling together at AMF Pikesville Lanes.  This event was generously sponsored by Sports Boosters of Maryland. 
If you or a friend want to find out how you can make a difference in a child's life, please contact Deborah Hamburger 410-843-7305/dhamburger@jcsbaltimore.org or
Bracha Goetz 410-843-7453/bgoetz@jcsbaltimore.org.
Jewish Community Services is very fortunate to have such supportive community members who donate their time and their resources to the clients to whom we provide services. We wish to thank the following groups for helping to provide fun and enjoyable activities with the residents of the 9 JCS group homes for adults with disabilities. They have made an invaluable addition to our social programming. In addition, we want to thank Jewish Volunteer Connection, our agency partner, for using their network to help us engage community members in these volunteer opportunities.

Party - Young adult volunteers from Impact, Repair The World and other Associated groups joined Special Connections for the JCC/JCS Purim party. These enthusiastic young volunteers  brought carnival games to the party which were a big hit, adding a boost to the fun and enjoyment.

Operation Mitzvah Mission - Sixth graders from Har Sinai and Beth Israel congregations hosted pizza, crafts and karaoke for the JCS group homes. As a special treat participants decorated sugar cookies to take home. The students were warm and welcoming and it was inspiring to see everyone having fun.

Baltimore Chesed League, a sports league of 5th & 6th grade boys who perform community service projects, joined our group home residents on two Sunday afternoons. With their dads as chaperones, the boys played bingo, handed out prizes, and helped with refreshments. More importantly, the boys interacted with the guests making them feel comfortable and welcome. 

The JCC- JCS Model Seder - The Model Seder for adults with disabilities was a tremendous success this year.  Approximately 60 guests attended and were joined by 11 volunteers from the Chapter 2 group of the Associated. This year we enhanced the seder experience by adding a PowerPoint visual display on the big screen so everyone could follow along with the Haggadah and our seder leader, Cory Herman.  Guests and volunteers lead prayers, read from the Haggadah, and sang songs. It was a truly inclusive experience for everyone. 

If you or your group would be interested in participating in events like these, please contact Rozi Rice at 410-843-7325 or rrice@jcsbaltimore.org.
The "Empty Nesters" Chavurah from Beth Tfiloh Congregation created individual gift baskets for Chanukah and Mishloach Manot boxes for Purim for each and every resident of the JCS group homes. They have gone above and beyond to enrich the lives of the residents and make them feel special and remembered during the holidays. We send a very warm thank you to the wonderful members of this Chavurah from BT.
Volunteer Services occasionally receives thank you notes from volunteers and clients.  Here is a sample of just some of the kind letters received:

Volunteers say.... 
A Big Sister reported that she and her Little Sister recently enjoyed baking together. She said, "Being a Big has really enhanced my life!"

An Interpreter's statement after assignment: " Today it has been a pleasure to be helpful." 
Blue Line Divider
Clients say....
"My son has been having a lot of fun with his Big Brother.  They have been going out to eat and going ice skating recently.  My son really loves spending time with his Big Brother!!  J is really a great positive influence in my son's life."

From a Toy Drive Recipient...
"You don't know how much you have made a difference in our lives. My sons are truly grateful. Thank you for the gifts." 
Allen Abend - Friendly Visitor
Ruth Cerreta - Mitzvah Mobility 
Rachel Finkelstein - Big Sister
Lauren Ganslaw - Mitzvah Mobility
Barry Hecht - Mitzvah Mobility
Miriam Hinthorn - Translator / Interpreter 
Whitney Longyhore - Shopper
Mijal Mendelewicz - Big Sister
Mitchell Mirkin - Big Brother
Ekaterina Prokofyeva - Translator / Interpreter 
Maureen Wakefield - Friendly Visitor
volunteer_group_ngo.jpg JCS is looking for more volunteers! Do you have friends or family members that would like to join our fabulous group of volunteers? Please help us increase our pool of volunteers by referring them to JCS.  We are currently looking to add to the following volunteer opportunities:
  • Mitzvah Mobility Drivers to provide escorted rides for older adult clients to medical and other necessary appointments.
  • English Tutor for Russian speaking individual.
To become a volunteer contact Amy Steinberg at 410-843-7457 or fill out an online application at jcsbaltimore.org/volunteer.
By Carol Sandler 
Stuart Sheer pictured with co-author Nancy Patz
Six months ago, Dr. Stuart Sheer, an orthodontist practicing in Mount Airy and Finksburg, became a Big Brother to an eight-year-old boy from a single-parent home. Stuart takes his Little Brother to places of interest around town, such as the zoo and the aquarium, and is teaching him to ride a bike. The child is quiet and reserved, and very kind and considerate. Stuart says he is trying to "provide a wide range of experiences in healthy environments."

Stuart also works with Health Volunteers Overseas as director of the Cambodian site, which improves global health care through educating the health workforce in countries with few resources. He started a program in Bangladesh, and has lectured in Vietnam, Bhutan, Tanzania and Kenya, and will soon visit Nepal. He recruits others who, he says, wish "to make a difference in kids' lives;" he believes that "through these volunteer actions we gain more than we give."

He has traveled to China, Phillipines, Nicaragua and Venezuela with Operation Smile, which helps kids with repair of cleft lip and palates. After dental school, Stuart volunteered with American Dental Volunteers for Israel, and provided care to patients at Kibbutz Mayaan Baruch on the border of Lebanon. "Traveling puts the world in perspective, allows you to see how others live and to understand just how fortunate we are to live in the United States". Volunteering and teaching others "introduces new people from completely different cultures to you in an easy way, the experience is oftentimes intoxicating and fascinating."

Stuart co-authored a recently published, well-received book, "The Elephant With A Knot in His Trunk," with Nancy Blaustein Patz, a well-known local children's book author, about disability and being bullied. The original idea was about a child with a cleft lip, who was being bullied. Nancy has used animals and elephants in many of her previous books, so we used an elephant as the child with the so-called 'cleft', and then we were off and running.  The two have done several signings; the book may be purchased at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
J-More recently interviewed the pair about their recent publication. Read Knot Your Typical Kids' Book.
Staff are here to help our volunteers.
Beth Land Hecht, Senior Manager 410-843-7456 blhecht@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8:30-5:00; F 8:30-3:00
Bracha Goetz, JBBBS 410-843-7453 bgoetz@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTTh 8:00-4:30  
Deborah Hamburger, Pro-Bono Services, JBBBS, Client Services  
   410-843-7305  dhamburger@jcsbaltimore.org / Office Hours: MWTh 11:00-4:00 
Rozi Rice, Client Services 410-843-7325 rrice@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8:00-4:00  
Amy M. Steinberg, Volunteer Coordinator 410-843-7457  asteinberg@jcsbaltimore.org 
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8-4:00; F 8-3 
If you are unable to reach your designated Volunteer Coordinator,  
Beth Hecht (410-843-7456) and Amy Meyers Steinberg (410-843-7457) are  
available to speak with you Monday through Friday during JCS office hours.  
JCS, in collaboration with numerous community partners, is offering several community programs this fall that may be of interest. 

Click on a program title to learn more.
Jewish Legal Services
Low Vision Support Group


For a full calendar of JCS programs and events, click here.
To read our JCS blogs click here
JVC's Live with Purpose program provides you with ideas and tools for volunteer projects that you can do in your home, your workplace and out in the community. Different projects are featured each month impacting various non-profit partners and causes. Project themes are connected with holidays and other key calendar dates. Or you can always customize your own project!  April's Live with Purpose Project is Good Deeds Day To Go - Seed packs and potted flower.Visit the Live with Purpose Calendar for a list of monthly projects.

JVC hosts four annual days of service; Day to Unite, Mitzvah Day, MLK Day of Service, and Good Deeds Day.  Good Deeds Day 2018 will be held on April 15th and volunteers will be matched to projects and places around the Baltimore community. For more information visit jvcbaltimore.org.