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"I never thought that I would need help."Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 12/11/2013
Until last year, Diana Cohen and her husband Harold were active older adults, living independently and enjoying the pleasures of family, friends and travel.
A long-time supporter of Jewish Family Service, Diana said, “I always thought that JFS was there to help other people. I never thought that I would need help.”
Everything changed for Diana last Thanksgiving, when she fell while visiting family in Vermont. She sustained serious injuries, and faced hospitalization, surgery, and the prospect of a long recovery. Her biggest worry was that she and her husband would not be able to cope with all of the logistics of her care once they returned home. “I didn’t know what to do,” she said, “so I called Tom.”
Tom Beck, the Executive Director of Jewish Family Service, reassured her
at once. “Don’t worry,” he told her. “We’ll send someone to your house the day you come home.” That someone was Rochelle Brodsky, one of the Nurse Coordinators
at JFS. Rochelle immediately took charge, laying out a plan for Diana’s care and recovery. She even “patient-proofed” the Cohen’s home. “Rochelle made all the difference,” says Diana, who is now fully recovered.
As a member of the Westfield United Fund, You make all the difference in
the lives of many people like Diana, who never thought that they would need help. Through your generosity, our agencies are able to provide vital services, so that seniors get the care they need to stay in their homes, low-income families receive child-care support, and people of all ages benefit from programs that address their physical and mental health needs.
This holiday season, as you celebrate with family and friends, remember that there are people nearby who need your help … some who never thought they would.
Together We Make a Difference!
Thanks to You, Ashley Has a Home!Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 10/24/2013
When I asked Ashley what she liked best about the beautiful new house she had recently moved into, she said, “It’s a real home.” A simple, but powerful statement. How many of us stop to appreciate our homes on a regular basis? Whether it’s large or small, old or new, each of us has a home where we can truly relax and be comfortable.
Not everyone can say this, especially people with disabilities, who are often housed in institutional buildings. But thanks to the work of our agency partner, Community Access Unlimited, more people like Ashley are living in real homes. Not only is this a wonderful change for them, it’s a good thing for our community as well.
CAU buys rundown houses, and either replaces them or rehabs them to suit the needs of “differently abled” people. The community’s housing stock is improved, and disabled citizens become regular neighbors. Within their homes, they receive compassionate support from an attentive staff of caregivers.
You make this possible! With your support, Ashley and others like her are able to live with privacy and dignity, as full and independent citizens of our community.
When you give to the Westfield United Fund, you change lives …
for the better.
YOU Are Part of Sarah's Story ...Posted by Deirdre Gelinne on 05/31/2013
… because You support the Westfield United Fund.
Sarah is one of the students enrolled in the Westfield United Fund’s After School Tutoring program, which provides homework help for children in need. Before the program began three years ago, Sarah struggled with her homework, and her grandmother, Carrie, who is her guardian, wasn’t always sure how to help her.
Carrie says, “You cannot imagine how much it helped Sarah out with her class work, getting her homework in on time, correctly and finished, and having a teacher to help her out with any questions. Me, being a grandma and out of school for many years, was many times of no help to her and just confused her more, especially where the math problems came in. This program was ‘God Sent’ for Sarah and me.”
“The After School Tutoring program, a/k/a the Homework Club, has afforded students like Sarah the homework support they can’t get at home. Before we had this valuable program, these students experienced frustration, failure and ultimately apathy, that led to a decline in their overall academic performance. The Homework Club provides them with a supportive, caring environment that encourages them to take pride in their work, forge close relationships with teachers, and increases the likelihood of their academic success,” says Sarah’s principal.
Here’s how it works: The principals identify the students in their schools who are “at risk” academically, and whose families cannot afford to hire tutors to help them. The children meet with a teacher for an hour after school several days a week, in groups of 6-10 students. The program is offered at each of the six elementary schools, so it’s convenient for the students and their families, and staffed by teachers from those schools, who are familiar with the curriculum and can communicate easily with the students’ homeroom teachers. It’s a “Win-Win” for everyone involved, and your support makes it possible.
Thank you for enabling us to provide this program for Sarah and others like her. Together, we’re making a difference!