Help JFS put a smile on a child’s face with its Chanukah Gift Program

by | Nov 5, 2020 | Trending News

In its 28th year, Jewish Family Service’s annual Hanukkah Gift Program is now underway. The first night of Hanukkah is December 10.

Like nearly everything, the holiday is going to look a little different this year. Still, JFS’s core mission will remain the same: helping local Jewish families in need. This program provides holiday gifts to local Jewish children and teens in financially struggling families. This year, due to COVID-19, families have asked to receive either gift cards or cash donations so they can order the gifts online, have them delivered to their homes, and not have to go to stores to shop. The children use many of these gifts throughout the year.

For donors, this is an opportunity to do a mitzvah for children who have no choice in their families’ financial situation. For young donors, this is a way to learn and practice tzedakah—giving to others.

How to Help

  • Purchase gift cards for specific children and teens in need. Donors may call JFS at 757-459-4640 for specific gift card wish lists.
  • Send JFS gift cards from local stores or Amazon or Visa so that families can order gifts for their children.
  • Send JFS a tax-deductible cash donation and JFS will order gift cards for each family in need.

Hanukkah donations must be received by Wednesday, November 25. Make checks payable to JFS and send to Jewish Family Service, ATTN: Maryann Kettyle, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 400, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Jewish Family Service assists local Jewish families in need all year and will keep any surplus donations to use throughout 2020-2021. For more information, contact Maryann Kettyle, at JFS at 757-459-4640 or


Henry* called JFS for help during the summer of 2019. He was unexpectedly a single parent and working two jobs to support his family. He was fortunate to get help from relatives with childcare for his four children. JFS was eager to help and with support from donors, was able to provide the much needed items his children needed: clothing, winter coats, and school supplies. At Hanukkah, Henry was not sure what to expect and was completely overwhelmed when he came to pick up the gifts bought for his children. Donors to the Hanukkah Gift Program had generously donated games, toys, dress-up clothes, cars, trucks, dolls, and sports equipment. Henry was actually speechless and simply said, “Please tell the people who shopped for my children that I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for my family. We will remember this Hanukkah celebration for a long time.”

*Name changed to protect privacy