March 2021 marks a unique anniversary – one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed lives, livelihoods and our overall sense of normalcy. But there have been happy stories mixed in with the challenges, and the positive endings were due, in large part, to your generosity.

A single mother was able to keep herself and her family secure, thanks to COVID-specific monies from the JFNA Human Services Relief Matching Fund, which local donors supported enthusiastically. Funds that were distributed to Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) aided the client who lost her job, due to COVID-19.

Her company closed and her life changed

Before the pandemic hit, she was an independent contractor who provided business marketing and strategy services to a family-owned business. She had worked with them for 10 years and could count on their support – until she couldn’t. COVID-19 closed their doors and temporarily suspended their ability to pay her what she had earned.

Without any support from her ex-spouse, she and her family struggled to literally keep the lights on.

She sold her personal belongings to pay her expenses and began looking for new employment. Soon, the state’s unemployment funds and her savings dried up, and she went in search of support. Her search brought her to JFS’ Career Employment Services for assistance with job placement; however, she found much more.

According to her case worker at JFS, the client had never needed help before, so she was surprised at the outpouring she received when she contacted the agency.

“She could not thank the wonderful people who helped her enough for paying her rent and utilities,” said the JFS case manager who worked with her. “In addition, she was referred for food assistance. She was enrolled immediately in the Jacobson Family Food Pantry.”

A JFS program, the Food Pantry provides recipients with non-perishable food every other week.

Thanks to you, JFS provided the support she needed to regain stability

Shortly thereafter, as promised, the client’s independent contract with her company was renewed, the monies owed were re-paid, and she regained her stability – a happy ending during a perilous time, when the pandemic affected so many.

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its partner agencies are able to assist clients, dealing with unexpected circumstances, because of the support we receive from you.

Together, we thrive.