JFS Honors Volunteer During National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is celebrated annually during the third week of April. This year it will be observed from April 16 to 22.

Last year, 338 volunteers donated 1,754 hours to JFS, supporting our operations, programs and clients. From serving as a member of our board of directors to delivering Passover for All bags to JFS clients, volunteers help us expand our capacity to serve more and more people each year. Jim Scheib has volunteered at JFS in several areas.

As a child, helping neighbors was just something he did. There was no planning or strategy, you simply help when and where you can. After high school graduation, Jim attended seminary but decided against becoming a priest in the Catholic church.

Much later in life, Jim wanted to pursue the deacon program at his church. He was told he was too old and should continue to focus on his lay minister activities and helping with various programs at the church. But his desire to give was strong, and so his volunteering expanded.

One day he received a newsletter from the Minnesota JCC. Intrigued, he joined the fitness center and heard about another Jewish organization in town that needed volunteers. JFS needed help distributing Passover for All bags. He participated, delivering bags of kosher food and supplies to help seniors celebrate Passover.

Jim also visits weekly with a JFS client who is a widower struggling with the loss of his wife. “I think it’s really important to take the time to visit with older people,” said Jim. What started as a visit to provide computer help has turned into weekly visits with another JFS client. Jim has experienced situations where his visits started as an annoyance. But with time, the person began to look forward to his visits and would be disappointed if he had to cancel for some reason. “It makes me feel like I’m doing what I should be doing, looking out for others.”

The JFS Community Chaplaincy program also benefits from Jim’s help. Together with Community Chaplain Rabbi Lynn Liberman, they have visited care facilities at Hanukah and Passover, offering holiday celebrations to residents both Jewish and those affiliated with other religions. “Jim’s welcoming smile and eagerness to help fill these events with joy and community,” said Rabbi Lynn. “After being part of so many events, he and I joke that he is nearly ready to lead them himself! It is a pleasure to have his help in making these important Community Chaplaincy events happen.”

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at JFS, email JFS Community Program Coordinator Anne Myers.