Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans announced that an anonymous donor has given the social service agency a $15,000 matching gift, meaning donors can double the effect of their gifts. Donations made to JFS are matched dollar for dollar through the COVID-19 Tzedakah Relief Fund and will enable the agency to provide life sustaining support to clients.
While the agency’s other COVID-19 response initiatives focus on immediate need, their Tzedakah Relief Fund prepares JFS to sustain support of their current and new clients.
“Our agency launched several initiatives, such as our COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Program funded by the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, to address needs occurring in our community right now,” explained JFS Executive Director Roselle Ungar. “We expect COVID-19 related needs to continue as well as grow, even once social distancing phases out.”
Many JFS clients won’t have jobs to return to, while it is anticipated that others may lose major support systems, such as family members who help with childcare or bills. “None of us budgeted for a global pandemic, so our agency needs our community’s help to support our most vulnerable clients,” Ungar said. “The symptoms of this disease extend beyond the havoc it wreaks on the body of those infected. We’re preparing now for what we know will be a need like we haven’t seen since 2005.”
The agency’s work “extends beyond putting money in the hands of our neighbors in need,” said JFS Director of Clinical Services Rachel Lazarus Eriksen. “Our Case Managers work with each of our clients individually to ensure their whole being is cared for, not just their bills.”
JFS exists to help clients sift through complex needs “and find not only stability, but well-being,” she added.
The COVID-19 Tzedakah Relief Fund will enable the agency to provide material and emotional support to members of the Greater New Orleans community with mental health and socioeconomic vulnerabilities.
Donations can be made here.