JFCS volunteering update: May 2020

By Dana Shapiro • Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor

Thanks to all those who attended our first ever virtual volunteer happy hour on April 23 in celebration of National Volunteer Week! We gathered together to thank our volunteers, hear updates from Judy Halper, JFCS CEO, and Jeff Barin, JFCS Board President, on how JFCS is continuing to provide the same service in different ways, and responded to volunteers’ questions.

During National Volunteer Week, we posted volunteer videos to the JFCS Facebook page. Click here to watch heartfelt messages from seven star volunteers who shared about their volunteer roles and why they volunteer with JFCS. You can still view these videos even if you don’t have a Facebook account.

Virtual volunteer opportunity:

Cards for the Community: Help to brighten someone’s day

Many people in our community are feeling isolated during this time and could benefit from feeling more connected to others. We have also heard from many volunteers who want to help.

Are you looking for a way to help? Anyone can participate by writing a note and/or drawing a picture to let someone know that they are thinking about them, wishing them a good day and reminding them that they are not alone.

Send cards and letters (feel free to send multiple notes) to:

1)     Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Attn: Community Services, 5905 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN 55422

2)     Ackerberg Family Sholom West Campus, Attn: Barbara Klick, 3610 Phillips Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55426

If you have any questions about this opportunity, contact Amy Weiss, Community Services Director, at aweiss@jfcsmpls.org or 952-542-4809.

Virtual volunteer opportunity:

Assemble Materials to be used for Themed Memory Boxes for Memory Care Residents

Sholom is providing sensory memory boxes for their memory care residents and needs our help! They have a list of themed boxes with suggested items needed for each box. Sholom will supply the boxes, but they are looking for help collecting the items to go in them. Each completed box used for the residents will come with questions they have prepared, and the resident can answer them while looking at the items.

List of items needed for themed memory boxes:

  • Beach Box Items: Shovel, Bucket, Palm sized shells, rocks, pictures of beaches, bottle of sand, swim suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, pictures of fish/birds, pictures of snacks
  • Garden Memory Box: Shovel, rake, gloves, flowers, seeds, pictures of different flowers and vegetables, pumpkins, cup of soil
  • Carpenter & Construction Memory Box: Hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape, wood, vest, helmet
  • Pilot and Airplane Memory Box: Pictures of planes, airplane models, airplane coloring pages, headset, pictures of being in the sky, cockpit, pilot wings
  • Sports Memory Box: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Hockey, Olympics, old baseball trading cards (printed from the internet and laminated)
  • Animal Memory Box: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Birds, Goats, Giraffes, Tigers, Pigs, Bears, etc
  • Russian Memory Box: CD’s
  • Travel Memory Box: Airplane, passport, figurines from all of the world, Paris, New York, Australia, Canada, Israel, model train, boarding ticket, airports, suitcase
  • Cooking Memory Box: Bowls, spices, spatula, tongs, pictures of food, salt and pepper shakers, timer,
  • Baby Memory Box: Clothes, bottle, nook, teething toy, diapers, baby blanket, doll, lists of popular baby names from different decades/eras
  • Photography Memory Box: Random Photos
  • Farm Memory Box: Pigs, Cows, Chickens, pictures of barn quilts/farm equipment, dried corn
  • Teacher Memory Box: Ruler, apple, markers, glasses, books, notebook, gradebook, old grade sheet (laminated)
  • Medical Personnel Memory Box: Child’s doctor play set (i.e. stethoscope, thermometer, bandage, blood pressure cuff)
  • Military/Red, White & Blue Memory Box: Military logos, flag, ships, planes
  • Religious (Jewish) Memory Box: Torah, Songs, CD of music
  • Seasonal Memory Box: Pumpkins, leaves, snow, sun, fake flowers
  • Music Memory Box: CD’s, Lyrics to popular songs, Pictures of singers (from 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s), instruments

Some things to keep in mind regarding the items:

  • Must be easily sanitized/cleaned
  • Durable/not easily broken
  • Cannot be accidentally swallowed

Sholom is also looking to collect sensory bottles (either bought or DIY) and these need to be sealed shut and cannot be breakable.

When you are finished, please put materials in a labeled bag and drop off at: Ackerberg Family Sholom West Campus, Attn: Sarah Philippe, 3610 Phillips Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55426

If you want to participate, please reach out to Sarah Philippe, Sholom’s Volunteer Coordinator, in advance to let her know which themed box you will do. She can be reached at sphilippe@shlolom.com or 952-939-1596. For have any questions about this opportunity, contact Sarah directly.

In-person volunteer opportunity:

Food box packing and distribution at PRISM

We are providing extra support to our neighboring agency, PRISM, to supply it with volunteers that can help respond to the growing food needs in the community at this time. PRISM has moved to a new model of distributing food in pre-packaged boxes from its parking lot, as the number of people it serves has drastically increased.

If you want to learn more about volunteer requirements, policies, and safety guidelines for this opportunity, contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112 and she will connect you.

These are JFCS’ available volunteer opportunities now, but we continue to assess our needs and anticipate they will change. If you would like to be contacted as our need for volunteers changes, you can reach out to Dana at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112.