From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: April 2024

Judy Desk blog - laptop with plant and coffee cup

If you’re reading this column, there’s a good chance you are a JFCS volunteer, or thinking about ways you might like to volunteer with the organization. To all of you who currently volunteer, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you do to help JFCS meet the needs of so many in our community. If you are thinking about volunteering with JFCS, now is the time to take that thought and put it into action! While we appreciate our volunteers throughout the year, we take the time each May to honor them, and this year, we’re doing it with ice cream! You don’t want to miss out!

On Thursday, May 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., we’ll be mingling with our volunteers and licking ice cream at Sebastian Joe’s in Linden Hills. While each one of our hundreds of volunteers would say they get so much more out of volunteering than they give, we figure a caloric scoop of delicious ice cream would sweeten the experience even more.

Our volunteers range in age from the very young to the not so very young. Some of our volunteers help out intermittently, and others dedicate time each week to a program or project. We have groups of friends who come each year to wrap gifts for our Hag Sameach (“Happy Holidays”) Program, and we have whole families who deliver holiday gifts together. Some folks volunteer to drive people to appointments, and some people help staff our annual J-Pride booth in Loring Park over Pride weekend.

There are dedicated individuals who assist each year at our annual Mental Health Education Conference, and we have volunteers who help each year with our Annual Benefit. Some of our volunteers serve as mentors to young adults and teens, and some serve at Passover seders for adults with disabilities or those who are celebrating freedom from addiction. We even have volunteers who help out at our reception desk, welcoming visitors and answering calls. The list goes on and on!

If you’re not yet convinced you should be a JFCS volunteer, or haven’t been enticed by the idea of a free ice cream cone, I suggest you contact JFCS Community Volunteer and Engagement Manager, Dana Shapiro, at, or 952-546-0616. I’m confident that once you take the leap, you’ll be glad you did. For those of you who already volunteer at JFCS, be sure to let your friends and family know! With your example and encouragement, they’ll want to be a volunteer at JFCS too!

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