2020 has been such a difficult year for so many of us—between COVID-19, quarantining in place, and a dissentious presidential election, almost all of us are looking forward to putting 2020 behind us and ready for the New Year.
This is particularly true for those community members who have reached out to JFS for Emergency Financial Assistance and Case Management through our Back on Track Fund. This fund, established by Michael (z”l) and Ellen Geduldig, and supported by Ellen Geduldig, Karolyn and Edward Shellehamer, Nancy and Charles Shaffer, Nevin Mindlin, Rebecca and Benjamin Michaelian and other generous donors, has allowed JFS to help people avoid financial ruin by providing short-term assistance and enabling them to move forward with their lives.
One example of an individual helped this year is “Mindy,” a woman in her 30s who was referred for assistance after meeting with a JFS therapist. Mindy was struggling with a school issue, stress, and was generally worn down in body and spirit. She was taking an on-line course to enhance her work skills. Mindy was living with her two school-age children, and was responsible for her mother who was not in good health. Due to Mindy’s health issues, she had to stop taking the course mid-semester. After Mindy recovered from her illness, she had no funds to pay for the one semester of school which she needed to graduate. JFS paid for that last semester which allowed Mindy to earn her degree. Mindy went on to find a position in her field and was able to provide for herself and her family. She has become a self-sufficient, productive member of her community.
Imagine that you are a responsible working person, living paycheck to paycheck. You are heading to work, and suddenly, your check engine ignition light goes off. You head to your mechanic and are told you need to replace part of your catalytic converter—an $800 job. You only have $500 in the bank and you need your car for work. If you lose your car, you lose your job, then you can’t pay rent and you lose your apartment. Your ability to maintain your home and your job rests on $300. The ability for JFS to provide a helping hand allows community members to preserve their dignity and avoid a downward spiral deeper into the social service system.
If you know of someone who might benefit from Emergency Financial Assistance and Case Management through our Back on Track Fund, please contact JFS at 717-233-1681 or online at www.jfsofhbg.org. We are here to help.