Through donations of toys and money, Jewish Family Service serves many local Jewish children and teens by providing new gift items for Chanukah and for use throughout the year.
Now in its 21st year, the JFS Chanukah Gift Program is an opportunity for donors to do a mitzvah for children who have no choice in their family’s financial situation. For young donors, this is a personal way to learn and practice tzedakah, giving to others, as they shop with parents for gifts for other children, knowing that the gifts will make a significant impact.
“We have been contributing to this program for about five years,” says Joan Kitchen and her husband Michael. “We help because we want to give back to the community whenever possible. We always like to buy brand new bicycles for pre-teen boys because they often fall through the cracks. Everyone else likes to buy for toddlers and girls, so we picked pre-teen boys.”
Kitchen continues, “We’ve been married for 25 years and don’t exchange gifts ourselves, so this is our choice for gift-giving. We also love the fact that we’re able to go out and personally pick out a new bicycle that we think a young boy would like. We plan to participate in the program again this year and hope others will join us in helping local Jewish families in need.”
Last year, a total of 133 different families, consisting of 337 people, benefited at Chanukah time due to the kindness of local community donors. Specific gifts and gift cards were provided to 53 local Jewish families with children/teens, consisting of 102 children and teens. Throughout 2013, these same families continued to benefit from the donations given at Chanukah time as JFS provides gift cards towards medication, food, gas, clothing, and school supplies.
Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.