From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: August 2020

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Finding motivation during the ‘dog days of summer’

Have you noticed that the “dog days of summer” are here? That’s an old expression meant to identify how many of us begin to feel as summer slowly simmers towards fall. When I was a college kid working at summer camp, I remember the “higher ups” inevitably would give counselors like me a kick in the rear to remind us that our jobs weren’t yet over. Somehow we needed to find the energy to continue making camp 24 hours of non-stop fun for the campers.

The “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” (thank you to the late singer Nat King Cole) is also a phrase oftentimes applied to professional baseball players, who tend to slump at this time of year after playing months of games, with many months more to go. There seems to be something that rings true about this time of year….and we’re feeling it big time this year! Many people are feeling understandably weary about this strange summer, following the strange spring, following the strange winter….all due to managing through this dreadful pandemic. Many of us feel overwhelmed by the health and economic impact of this terrible situation.

So how do we rebound and where do we find new sources of motivation to energize us? I find inspiration all around, though granted, some days I’m more open to it than others. I am awed by the ingenuity that has been sparked by human beings’ innate desire to connect. Have you seen the variety of free-standing devices people have created that use plastic shower curtains as human dividers with arm-hole cut-outs so that friends and family members can safely hug? FaceTime and Zoom may be old-hat on steroids to many of us by now, but I can assure you they are lifelines and human transfusions to grandparents whose grandchildren are far away with no possibilities of visits in sight. Curbside restaurant service, learning pods, and even mail-in voting are all “new” things that have captured our attention and helped us to adapt to challenging circumstances.

That’s why at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis we are offering some motivation in the form of our “Million Reasons Why” campaign to remind and educate you about the millions of reasons people turn to us for assistance, and the millions of ways you can help us respond to these essential needs. JFCS offers more than 30 different programs and services (fewer than a million by a long shot), and each is intended to offer boundless compassion and exceptional professional assistance to people, regardless of background, age, and ability.

I hope you’ll look carefully at our campaign materials. The words and the pictures convey images and stories of people who look like you, your neighbors, or even co-workers or total strangers. Our desire to provide the help people need in order to succeed reflects our passion for contributing to a community that respects and furthers diversity, equity and inclusion. That’s the message of our Million Reasons Why campaign.

JFCS is “Here For All. Always.” because we recognize that there aren’t “needy” people. Rather, we are all people with needs. Among those needs are basic connection. If you need a bit of inspiration to move forward to what comes next, I invite you to learn more about JFCS’ programs and services, and if you can, contribute to our campaign! There are a Million Reasons Why we need you!