Jewish Family & Children’s Service has a beginning rooted deep in helping the community during times of hardship, and that dedication still echoes in the work they put into the community now.
Started in 1935, a group of Jewish women who recognized the need for assistance in their community and set out to provide what resources and services they could by forming JFCS.
“The aid and support they provided their friends and neighbors grew over time to become a comprehensive social services agency in Phoenix that continues to heal lives every day,” says Jewish Family & Children’s Service president and chief executive officer Dr. Lorrie Henderson.
And in more than 80 years of service to the community, that dedication to the community has remained the same as the organization has expanded, adding to the resources they can provide.
JFCS offers a variety of programs and services, including counseling, mental health assessment and treatment, early childhood trauma assessment and treatment, child crisis intervention and rehabilitative services, support for victims of domestic violence and substance abuse treatment support.
In addition to those programs, JFCS offers programs providing emergency financial assistance, programs for senior enrichment, career services and job development, high school equivalency exams for teens in foster care, and several programs throughout the year.
“JFCS strengthens the community by providing behavioral health, healthcare and social services to all ages, faiths and backgrounds,” Henderson explains.
Due to recent restrictions and social distancing guidelines because of COVID-19, the nature of operations is changing for many organizations. We asked Henderson about the best way to support JFCS during this time.
“In response to requests from community members asking how best to support the organization’s mission during COVID-19, JFCS has created the Emergency Assistance Fund,” Henderson shares.
Besides the fund, he says community members can also get involved through donations of food, cleaning supplies and personal care items to the JFCS Just 3 Things Food Pantry.
JFCS is also accepting donations of school supplies through the Back to School program, art supplies for the Youth Art program, and handwritten notes and letters through the JFCS Caring Cards program.
“Volunteers are the lifeline of many charity organizations, including JFCS,” he adds. “Socially distant volunteer opportunities are available on the JFCS website.”
In 2019, JFCS was able to provide programs and services for 41,322 individuals in Maricopa County. Of those served, 97 percent come from low-income households and 50 percent are children and teens.
JFCS provides services to all individuals in need, regardless of age, faith or background.
“At JFCS, we hope for a future where families are strong, where our elders are cared for and where children are safe,” Henderson says.
For readers wishing to learn more about Jewish Family & Children’s Service, visit www.jfcsaz.org. To keep up with the latest news and updates for the organization, follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.