JFS Perspectives

Monday, April 15, 2019

Celebrating Our Volunteers

Celebrating Our Volunteers

We celebrate and thank our volunteers—now in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month—and every month. Their impact is immeasurable, not only for the agency, but for the whole community. Thank you to each of our 1,211 volunteers who contributed a total of 30,988 hours of service last year to fulfill the mission of JFS!

Office Manager NVW quote

“That members of our community and, in particular our volunteers, care so deeply about JFS makes me proud and grateful,” says Linda Foster, president and CEO. “Volunteers are the backbone of JFS and their passion for and commitment to our clients makes our work possible. The time and effort they contribute each day enable JFS to thrive.”

Nancy Benyamin, director of Volunteer Services adds, “On behalf of our Volunteer Services team, I want to thank our volunteers for their compassion, dedication and kindness. They make our community stronger and help us transform lives each and every day.”

We asked some of our staff members who work directly with volunteers to share what they witness about the impact volunteers have on our clients and the organization.

Weinberg Food Pantry volunteersFood Pantry Manager quote 

Gabe adds to his quote above, “Equally as important as the physical work volunteers put in to set up the pantry and hand out food is the relationships they form with pantry clients. Pantry volunteers make our clients feel welcome and cared for every time they come into the building.”

Did you know we have Friendly Visitors like Lexi, pictured below, who provide companionship and support to older adults in Denver and Boulder? Ingrid Swords, Boulder JFS volunteer coordinator, says, “There’s no way we could offer the services we do without our volunteers. They are amazing, dedicated, loving, enthusiastic, inspiring, and full of heart. For many clients, they are just like family.”

Friendly VisitorsCare Manager Quote 

You might not know that JFS runs a Group Home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Several dedicated volunteers visit on a regular basis and share different forms of culture to enhance the residents’ lives. Taylor Rutherford, Group Home manager, says, “The volunteers that come to the Group Home are a blessing for every single person in the house, from the residents to the staff. They engage with the residents on a personal level and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. Whether it’s our reading club, music, or arts and crafts projects, the residents look forward to these volunteer-led activities and list them among their favorite things to do.”

Another group of volunteers you may not be aware of are para-chaplains. These 28 dedicated individuals are serving the spiritual needs of Jews in hospitals, correctional facilities, and long-term residential facilities such as retirement communities and nursing homes. Rabbi Rick Brody, Jewish community chaplain, says, "The para-chaplains bring warmth, a love of Jewish customs and rhythms, and a celebration of the individuals they meet with—providing a highlight in the lives of many of the residents who faithfully attend holiday services and celebrations. These visits promote the values of personal dignity and the importance of Jewish community and Jewish learning—and they emphasize to all who attend that the wider Jewish community has not forgotten them."

These are just a few examples of how our wonderful volunteers help the agency. We are grateful to the countless other individuals who donate their time. Their efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Learn more about our volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved. No matter how much time you have or what your interests are, volunteering with JFS can easily fit into your lifestyle and schedule.