Making an Impact: More Important Than Ever to Come Together

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community.

During her care management assessment, Brenda quietly cried as her JFS case manager offered to ensure she received a B’Yachad gift bag this year. “Oh no, I’m sorry,” said the case manager. “I didn’t mean to make you cry!”

“These are tears of joy,” Brenda said. “What a horrible year it’s been.” Her voice trembled as she explained that her husband recently passed away from COVID. “We couldn’t even have a funeral. You don’t realize how important coming together is until you can’t do it. I want to gather with my family and tell stories and cry, but we can’t.”

Brenda lives on a limited social security income in a low-income apartment complex. “It’s so lonely now without him,” she said. “And now with COVID, I don’t even pass people in the hall or at the grocery store.”

She explained that with the gift card in the B’Yachad gift bag, she would purchase food for a holiday meal. “I always enjoyed making the same meal my mother used to make when I was little,” said Brenda. “I wish I could share it with my granddaughter.”

But Brenda can’t be together with her granddaughter this year. Among the adverse health consequences of social isolation is impaired immunity, particularly dangerous during an airborne virus pandemic. “But I’ll get some treats to give to her when we can be together again.”

Until then, “It helps to know someone is thinking about me,” said Brenda.