Why volunteering matters

by | Jul 14, 2017 | Other News

Volunteering isn’t something to put off until you have extra time and money. There are numerous reasons why the returns far outweigh the time invested, especially during lean times.

Alene and Ron Kaufman both volunteer at Jewish Family Service. “Everyone has some skill JFS can use. Ron likes to drive and meet people, so he delivers Meals on Wheels. I happen to love numbers and computers, so I volunteer in the Personal Affairs Management (PAM) department,” says Alene Kaufman.

“We volunteer at JFS because we saw the good work it does with counseling and support for HAT and Strelitz students, families, and faculty,” says Kaufman. “Plus, both my parents used JFS in Richmond for home health. Ron’s parents lived in Florida and used JFS for home health, while my father-in-law, a Holocaust survivor, was sick. JFS Fort Lauderdale took him to doctors’ appointments and also provided excellent grief counseling for my mother-in-law.”

Tikkun Olam
The Kaufmans feel that volunteering is just one way to repay JFS. “We can’t volunteer in the communities where our parents are, but by volunteering here, we feel like we are doing something,” says Kaufman.

The couple takes volunteering as their responsibility for Tikkun Olam…repairing the world. “We’re incredibly grateful for our health and our way of life,” she says. “Recognizing that everyone is not fortunate or may not have support systems in place, encourages us to take our turn in this evolving world. We’re so proud of the work that JFS does and are so glad that we can support the wonderful employees and the programs it offers.

“We really enjoy what we do,” says Kaufman. “We feel connected to our community and look forward to our weekly volunteering. We feel that what we do not only helps the current clients, but helps sustain the organization and its future. After all, ‘you never know when you’ll need help, but you’ll always know where to find it.’ Everyone can assist in some way to ensure that the help will still be there.”

Another young volunteer at JFS is Alix Kloster, who helps deliver Meals on Wheels to elderly clients. “I began volunteering with JFS because I realized that every activity I was engaging in during the week was simply fulfilling personal obligations I had set up for myself,” says Kloster. “I wasn’t actively engaging with my community or putting myself out into the world to expand my network or give back. JFS has allowed me to connect with my community in a way that I may never have had the opportunity to do so and I look forward to coming to JFS each week. Hopefully, I am making others’ lives easier, but I have also found that volunteering has helped with my stress levels during the rest of my week and made me a happier person in general.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at JFS, call Jody Laibstain at 757-321-2227.