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Volunteer Services


Community Spotlight: Helping Feed Atlanta

Helping Feed Atlanta Spreads Love and Food Across Atlanta

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the produce at Whole Foods at the end of the day? Does it get thrown out, used for compost, or do employees throw elaborate dinner parties after hours? In February 2012, David Skoke helped answer that question by reaching out to his local Whole Foods Market. What started out as a request for 40 pounds of potatoes, has now grown into an operation that feeds thousands of the homeless and Atlantans in-need.

In just five years, the project has grown from one market to five different Whole Foods markets and three Costco locations. Helping Feed Atlanta collects over 30,000 pounds of food every month with the help of a few dedicated volunteers. 

In addition, Helping Feed Atlanta has also created jobs for capable adults like Todd Besmernick, a young man in our supported employment program. David and Todd have become great friends, and they share videos of their weekly runs to collect healthy produce on their  “van show.” They then distribute the produce to the JF&CS kosher food pantry, and other organizations that help those in-need including Malachi's Storehouse, City of Refuge and The Atlanta Mission.

“We could not do our work without the help of David Skoke and Helping Feed Atlanta for many reasons. Thank you from all of us at JFCS,” said Engagement Coordinator, Sheri Schwartz.

Amy Maslia, intake manager agreed. “We Love to see David's smiling face on Mondays and am thrilled to offer fresh produce to our clients! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!”

Helping Feed Atlanta was recently profiled on 11 Alive. You can view the video here: http://www.wsbtv.com/video?videoId=596527236&videoVersion=1.0 

Here is a video of David and Todd doing their mobile mitzvahs: https://www.facebook.com/Helping-Feed-Atlanta-1438955989707442/?fref=mentions

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services


VIA Joins ORT and Federation Under 40 to Beautify APS School

Volunteers improved the social and emotional learning suite at Forrest Hill Academy.

VIA Joins ORT and Federation Under 40 to Beautify APS School
On Sunday, June 11, VIA participated in ORT My School, a school beautification project, with ORT Atlanta and Federation Under 40 Division. This was the second year the groups collaborated to improve an Atlanta public school. 

This year, the groups painted the new social & emotional learning suite at Forrest Hill Academy· All together, 22 young adults participated. The group had a great time with the community service project, knowing they were making a difference for kids at the school. Young adults can get involved at www.jfcsatl.org/VIA

Posted in Volunteer Services


Aviv Celebrations Thanks Volunteers at Pete the Cat Show

Aviv Celebrations Thanks Volunteers at Pete the Cat Show
On May 21, we thanked agency volunteers who generously give of themselves, with an outing to see Pete the Cat at the Center for the Puppetry Arts.

Fifty parents and children attended the event with smiles and giggles while watching Pete the Cat and then a special puppet show about Aviv Celebrations with characters Silly Puppet and Mel Footmeyer. Aviv Celebrations of Aviv Older Adult Services of JF&CS hosted the event, which was followed by time for making unique and beautiful cards for Aviv Celebrations.

Aviv Celebrations, founded by Cherie Aviv, works with children, teens and adults to make and give handmade birthday cards for older adults and get well cards for people who are ill. Making and giving a handmade card is a simple, yet meaningful way to connect with anyone, but in particular with older adults. A birthday card may be the only recognition they receive on their birthday. And for those who are ill, a get-well card will certainly brighten their day. The cards reassure those in our community they have not been forgotten.

Learn more about Aviv Celebrations or join in the fun and make cards for older adults and those who are ill! www.jfcsatl.org/cards 

Posted in Volunteer Services


Friendly Visitor Program Works to Reduce Senior Isolation

Program matches seniors with volunteers

Friendly Visitor Program Works to Reduce Senior Isolation
With social isolation impacting many older adults, meaningful interactions and warm conversations with others grow increasingly rare and simultaneously more important to those who may have limited access to a social network. JF&CS’ One Good Deed program aims to address this by matching older adults with volunteers in order to create newfound friendships and invaluable connections across generations. Spearheaded by Sharon Spiegelman, One Good Deed Manager, and Vivienne Kurland, One Good Deed Coordinator, the program has already matched 65 older adults with community volunteers.

Among the matches, Sheva Vapne, a Holocaust survivor, and Ellen Gebel have been matched together for over a year, and enjoy meeting every other week at Sheva’s home for a friendly visit.

Posted in Aviv Older Adult Services, Volunteer Services


A Volunteer Program That FITS Your Family

A Volunteer Program That FITS Your Family

If you are a community-minded parent looking for ways your children can “give back,” you might have noticed a scarcity of such activities, especially if they are under the age of 12. You also wouldn’t be alone in your quest. JF&CS has received a lot of inquiries from parents of youngsters over the past few years. And now, we have the answer.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in Volunteer Services

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