Community Comes Together to Help 70+ Families for the Holiday Season
INDIANAPOLIS - More than 1,000 community members in Indianapolis will be touched this Holiday season by a Jewish Family Services mitzvah program called Adopt-a-Family. These individuals will be helping more families that the program has ever served before.
As part of this initiative, the media is invited to the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis anytime from 1 – 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the JCC Laikin Auditorium (JCC Campus near Door 3). Hundreds come to our Community Day to wrap gifts together and enjoy family-fun activities with PJ Library. Teams can also drive by and drop off already wrapped gifts.
“Every week, Jewish and non-Jewish families come to me in need of basic items, such as food, laundry detergent and diapers, because these items are expensive and they just can’t make it through the end of month,” said Julie Sondhelm, Jewish Family Services Social Worker. “They always offer their appreciation for what we have in the pantry and through emergency assistance to meet their need. Once a year, through the Adopt-a-Family program, these families get a chance to ask for specifically what they need and want. Some have allergies and need specific toiletries or detergent or foods. Some have children with special needs that need specific clothing to be usable for them and to increase independence. The generosity of donors to Adopt-a-Family allows these individuals to have a say and to have new items.”
“I was worried my kids would be disappointed because they wouldn’t have Chanukah presents like their friends… but because of your help, all of us had something to open and enjoy,” said a Client who received gifts during the 2021 Adopt-A-Family program.
“It’s very powerful when you get a list from a family,” said a longtime supporter of the program. “Kids are asking for boots, jackets and winter hats and parents are asking for toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Even if you aren’t in a position to participate financially, it’s just as important to show up and donate a used jacket as it is to purchase items on a family’s list.
Children are able to identify with Adopt-a-Family because giving and receiving gifts is something they can relate to. For our children, I hope it is a reminder of the gratitude for the blessings they have. It’s important to know that you aren’t too young to make a difference. We need to have our children feel empowered when it comes to philanthropy and that they have a voice and a presence. Children can gain confidence in themselves and can make someone’s world a little brighter.”
In 2021, 819 people volunteered, shopped or donated during Adopt-A-Family, supporting 252 people, making up 77 families; a 15 percent increase over the following year. See the 2021 Impact Report for more statistics from the 2021 Adopt-A-Family campaign.
Visit jewishindianapolis.org/adoptafamily for more information.
**The Jewish Federation will have photo and interview opportunities for media from 1 - 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the JCC Laikin Auditorium (JCC Campus near Door 3). Please contact Andrea Kruszynski, Director of Communications, at email@example.com or 317-417-2609 if you plan to cover this event.
Parking: Please park in the front of the building either in the parking lot outside of Door #3, or #1, or you can temporarily park in the circle drive by door #3.
About Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Services (JFS), the Social Services Department of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, offers a continuum of multi-generational services that enhance the health, well-being, and dignity of families and older adults in our local community. Services are available to persons directly or through a network of community agencies dedicated to the needs of each client, regardless of religion, race, nationality, ethnic group, or income level.
About the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis
The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis is the central philanthropic, planning and community relations organization of the Jewish community. The Federation and its agencies, in cooperation with the synagogues, function to promote the general welfare of the Jewish community and to ensure the creative survival and continuity of the Jewish people. The Federation community mission is grounded in a pluralistic understanding of the historical, moral and c
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