How you can help during the outbreak
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Editorial

How you can help during the outbreak

A volunteer directs a woman that received a weeks worth of lunches before the start of Spring break to help families that depended on school lunches during the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
A volunteer directs a woman that received a weeks worth of lunches before the start of Spring break to help families that depended on school lunches during the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Even while officials in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut saw signs this week that the coronavirus was easing its deadly grip on the region, hospitals and first responders remained overwhelmed. Beyond the medical and public health challenges, millions have been left vulnerable by closures, layoffs, and stress. Nonprofits in the Jewish community are facing increased demand while being compelled to cancel crucial fund-raising events.

Below is just a partial list of ways you can help nonprofits meet clients’ needs.

Jewish Federation of Greater Metro-West NJ is helping on multiple fronts, from basic needs, to sustaining Jewish community centers and other hard-hit institutions, to helping Israel through the crisis (see sidebar page 7). The philanthropy has sent out $1 million to partner agencies with a commitment to “keep going.” In addition, funds have been sent to support elderly Jews and Holocaust survivors in Israel and to Greater MetroWest’s partner communities in Ofakim and Rishon LeZion. Federation staff deserve commendation for mobilizing and spearheading volunteer efforts as well. jfedgmw.org

Jewish Funders Network, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, and the North American Volunteer Network are teaming up (and raising funds) to purchase equipment and distribute personal protective equipment to  health-care providers and institutions affiliated with the NJHSA and the Association of Jewish Aging Services. bit.ly/2RjnSQN

Hebrew Free Loan of New Jersey will provide interest-free loans up to $3,600 to individuals and small businesses affected by coronavirus. hebrewfreeloanofnj.org

Jewish Relief Agency provides a monthly delivery of kosher food to hundreds of food-insecure families throughout the state. It is a volunteer-driven program affiliated with the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, the N.J. headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. jrametrowest.com

Good People Fund based in Millburn provides financial support, guidance, and mentoring to charitable activities of modest proportions. Unchained at Last, which supports women and girls leaving forced marriages, is among the local charities supported by the fund. goodpeoplefund.org

Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges is a collaboration of faith-based groups providing supplemental and emergency food to low-income residents in Orange and East Orange. orangesfoodpantry.org

Areyvut, a New Jersey-based organization that engages Jewish youth, is delivering kosher meals to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, the heavily Jewish township hit hard by the virus. areyvut.org

International Relief

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is providing life-saving aid for the most vulnerable, including the poor and elderly, who’ve been hardest hit by the crisis in Israel, the Former Soviet Union, Latin America, and Europe. Services include the safe provision of supplemental food, medicines, medical care, hygiene supplies, and training, as well as programs to battle loneliness and retrain the unemployed. jdc.org/coronavirusupdates

American Jewish World Service is working with its 487 grantee organizations across Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean to stop the spread of Covid-19. The global aid organization is providing critical aid, life-saving information, and material assistance. act.ajws.org

Volunteering

Selfhelp’s “Virtual Senior Center” is seeking volunteer facilitators to connect to seniors through a video chat program and share interests in the areas of art, music, history, health, social sciences, computers, and more. Volunteers who can speak English, Mandarin, Russian, or Korean are needed. Email Carmella Chessen at cchessen@selfhelp.net.

Jewish Association Serving the Aging is seeking volunteers to place friendly phone calls to homebound seniors to help reduce social isolation and disconnection from the community. Contact Lori Hardoon at lhardoon@jasa.org.

DOROT’s Caring Calls program lets volunteers “visit” an older adult by phone. dorotusa.org

This is just a snapshot of the charitable efforts being conducted in the region. If you have an organization or project to add to the list, email us at editorial@njjewishnews.com.

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