Young adult volunteers add helping Hands to Helping Hearts project

by | Dec 23, 2014 | Other News

Fluffing teddy bears may sound like easy work, but when there are more than 1,000 of the small plush stuffed toys that need sprucing up, the job can be daunting.

The Personal Affairs Management program of the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater was in luck on Wednesday, Dec. 9, when nearly two dozen volunteers came to its offices on the Sandler Family Campus to fluff and stuff and help assemble holiday packages for PAM’s annual Helping Hearts project.

Along with the bears, snacks and other goodies were packed in ribbon-tied cellophane bags that the PAM program distributes as holiday gifts to clients, residents and patients of area hospitals and other care facilities.

Among the group helping PAM pack bags were participants of Hands on Tidewater, one of the ongoing programs sponsored by the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Hands on Tidewater offers volunteer opportunities to area Jewish young adults. The time commitment is minimal, but the rewards are huge.

Ross Kantor and Rebecca Bickford co-chaired the annual event during which volunteers stood in front of long tables, assembly-line style, working non-stop for several hours until the last assigned bag was filled and placed in a larger bag for delivery.

Kantor and Bickford called the event a true success, and were gratified to see how many YAD members were willing to give time and energy to help others have a brighter holiday.

YAD has an ongoing calendar of events—social, philanthropic, networking, and informative—planned for all young Jewish adults in Tidewater, ages 22–45. Contact Benyamin Yaffe at for more information, or visit for more information.