JFS Perspectives

Sheela Balaji: Volunteer Extraordinaire

Tuesday, October 08, 2019
Sheela Balaji: Volunteer Extraordinaire

If you spend five minutes with Sheela Balaji, her happiness, zest for life, and passion for helping others will rub off on you. Volunteering is an integral part of her identity, and she lights up when she talks about the myriad ways she gives back to the community. And lucky for us, JFS is one of the recipients of her kindness. 

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Thank You Lunchbox Express Volunteers!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Thank You Lunchbox Express Volunteers!

This past summer, hundreds of dedicated Lunchbox Express volunteers distributed more than 22,000 fresh, nutritious lunches to children in need at 16 locations throughout the Denver metro area. The program targets children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year but are at risk of going without during the summer months. In addition to the meals, more than 12,000 books were distributed to children to encourage a love of reading and learning. 

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Corporate Employees Get Out of the Board Room and Back on the School Bus

Monday, August 19, 2019
Corporate Employees Get Out of the Board Room and Back on the School Bus

We just concluded another amazing Lunchbox Express season! Hundreds of dedicated volunteers distributed more than 22,000 fresh, nutritious lunches and more than 12,000 books to children in need at 16 locations throughout the Denver metro area. We were thrilled to partner with seven corporate groups to fill many of these volunteer slots: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), DaVita, FirstBank, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), Randstad, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee, and Xcel Energy. Many of these groups took multiple shifts on various days throughout the summer. And for some groups, their employees have returned year after year. 

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Hannah Kutnick's 3rd Annual Backpack Bonanza to Support Lunchbox Express News Coverage

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Hannah Kutnick's 3rd Annual Backpack Bonanza to Support Lunchbox Express News Coverage

12-year-old Hannah Kutnick recently organized her third annual “Backpack Bonanza,” a drive to generate donations for back-to-school backpacks and school supplies for at-risk children. She collected and donated 400 loaded backpacks to Jewish Family Service, which were distributed to children in need through our Lunchbox Express program and to other families served through various JFS programs. She raised more than $3,500 this year and a total of $8,100 over three years. She was able to negotiate significant discounts with several retailers to put together 400 full backpacks to supplement those provided by Jewish Family Service.
 

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Lunchbox Express Providing Free Summer Lunches and Books at 21 Locations in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Lunchbox Express Providing Free Summer Lunches and Books at 21 Locations in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Lunchbox Express, a program of Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS), will begin providing free summer lunches through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program on May 28. Lunchbox Express is a simple mobile food delivery system that brings fresh, nutritious lunches via repurposed mini school buses and some static sites. The program targets residential areas with a high percentage of children who typically receive free or reduced-fee lunches at school during the school year. 

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Next-Generation Volunteers Are Making a Difference

Monday, August 20, 2018
Next-Generation Volunteers Are Making a Difference

If this summer’s JFS youth volunteers are any indication of the next generation’s leaders, the future looks bright! Nearly 40 kids, ages 10 to 18, served JFS this summer by distributing lunches and school supplies through Lunchbox Express, sorting food and supplies in the Weinberg Food Pantry, and completing meaningful mitzvah projects.  

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Hannah Kutnick's Backpack Bonanza to Support Lunchbox Express News Coverage

Friday, August 17, 2018
Hannah Kutnick's Backpack Bonanza to Support Lunchbox Express News Coverage

11-year-old Hannah Kutnick recently organized her second annual “Backpack Bonanza,” a drive to generate donations for back-to-school backpacks and school supplies for at-risk children. She collected and donated 300 loaded backpacks to Jewish Family Service, which were distributed to children in need through our Lunchbox Express program. Check out the news coverage below! 

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A Mouth-Watering Mitzvah

Wednesday, August 01, 2018
A Mouth-Watering Mitzvah

More than a year ago, Brooke Gralla met with Nancy Benyamin, JFS director of Volunteer Services, to discuss ideas for her daughter Julia’s upcoming mitzvah project and to find ways they could volunteer together. Brooke and Julia decided to volunteer with Lunchbox Express delivering meals and books to low-income children throughout the metro area last summer.  

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Thamer Abdullah: Making His Way in America

Monday, June 18, 2018

Witnessing a suicide bomber commit his final act of terror was the last straw for Thamer Abdullah. That his 12-year-old son also saw the horrific act made it that much worse. It was then that he decided to leave his native Iraq with his family and move to Syria in hopes of securing a better and safer life.  

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CBS4 Denver: Group Helps Keep Hunger at Bay for Children During Summer Months

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jewish Family Service's Lunchbox Express program was featured on CBS4 Denver on May 29, 2018 as we kicked off the fifth year of the summer lunch program: 

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