June 2020 -- Sivan-Tammuz 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 6

c2020 Shoreline Publishing, Inc.      629 Fifth Avenue, Suite 213, Pelham, NY 10803      P: 914-738-7869      hp@shorelinepub.com

Volunteering Opportunities During Covid-19

By Diana Eppolito,

WJCS Director of Community Engagement and Donor Relations

 

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” -Anne Frank

 

COVID-19 has brought a great feeling of uncertainty, as people cope with illness, job loss, isolation, and fear for the future. But there is one thing that is certain. The Westchester community cares about its neighbors. At WJCS-Westchester Jewish Community Services, we have been overwhelmed by the touching generosity of Westchester residents who have contributed in a variety of ways to help us support our 20,000 clients during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

There are many ways to be charitable and support WJCS’s efforts to help Westchester residents who are struggling during this difficult time:

 

  • Contribute to the WJCS COVID-19 Fund on wjcs.com
  • Shop the WJCS Target Registry. Basic necessities will be sent to our headquarters and our staff will distribute these items to families in need. To find the registry, go to: bit.ly/3eKD7vq.
  • Contribute to our WJCS virtual library by sending us content. We’re looking for simple no-shopping-required tutorials or DIY projects as well as videos of storybook reading, joke telling, or sharing an inspiring family or cultural story. All content should be family friendly. Send your video to WJCSVirtualVolunteers@wjcs.com.
  • Arrange to make Care Calls. Regularly arranged care calls have become a major tool in combating feelings of intense isolation for clients in our community residences and many of the seniors in our programs.
  • Volunteer in our Compeer program, which is now functioning remotely. Compeer creates one-to-one matches with volunteers and individuals going through a tough time. Volunteers provide supportive friendship, advocacy, increased social interaction, serve as positive role models, and help with access to educational and recreational activities in the community.
  • Share your skills with Center Lane, Westchester’s only LGBTQ+ youth community center. Center Lane is looking for volunteers with skills they would like to share with clients. Help with resume building, job interviewing, nutrition, and fitness are especially appreciated.
  • Make homemade face masks. These are needed throughout WJCS! While these masks are not medical grade, they offer some degree of protection and are less intimidating for kids and others wary of face coverings. There are many easy online tutorials demonstrating how to make a face mask, including on the New York Times website.
  • Send pictures, poems, or caring messages to the seniors in our programs. We welcome whatever you are inspired to create to spread joy. We will include your message of joy with the meals that are delivered to seniors at home. Please mail masks and messages of joy to Charlotte Cobbs, WJCS, 845 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603.
  • Help pack and deliver groceries for our senior program in Mount Vernon. Volunteers will be creating food packages at and delivering meals from our headquarters in White Plains. If interested, please fill out a Volunteer Application form on wjcs.com.
  • Take part in our annual Back to School Drive. Each year WJCS helps hundreds of children in under-resourced communities in Westchester start the school year with new school supplies. Contributions from Westchester residents, business leaders, and churches and synagogues have helped make this important initiative a success in the past. With the school interruptions that children have experienced during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for them to start the school year motivated and prepared to learn.
  •  

To apply and find out more information about volunteer opportunities, please go to wjcs.com. Please contact Diana Eppolito, WJCS Director of Community Engagement and Donor Relations, if you are interested in participating in the WJCS Back to School Drive or have questions  about volunteer opportunities at WJCS: (914) 848-8156 or writing deppolito@wjcs.com.