Personal Reflections from the President & CEO

Danielle N. Hartman, MNM
President & CEO

Week 6 in the Trenches

It has now been six weeks of our new un-normal and every day we seem to all be anxiously awaiting further guidance as to when we can begin re-entry.  To even think that we can just flip a switch and go back to how we were operating before is both illogical and non-reality.

Each day we receive more and more calls from families needing assistance, seeking guidance on how to file for re-employment benefits, needing emergency financial assistance to pay their bills, and many needing one of life’s most basic things – food.  Thankfully, our JFS was already poised to make our services available through online platforms, including affordable mental health counseling, but as the days turn into weeks, many people are finding themselves full of anxiety, at the early stages of depression and desperation.  Many of our older adults may be safer at home but are so lonely, and crave a time when they can get back to their “home away from home” at the Weisman Delray Community Center.

We are moving forward by beginning to vision what our own agency re-entry will look like and what changes to our operations will need to be made to keep the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers front of mind.  I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity by our community, most recently from several people dropping off non-perishables, fresh produce, and other items to our Jacobson Family Food Pantry.  We have also started receiving requests for communities to hold food drives to benefit the pantry, and I can tell you this is normally a time of year when food donations begin to slow down, so to have people donating food at this time, when the needs continue to rise, shows you just how incredible our community is.

We continue to process and distribute Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund requests, and know that our families may need help for the next several months.  We are here, poised better than most, as one of the premiere human service providers in our community.  Our Holocaust survivors are safe and well cared for, as are the most vulnerable among us.

We have a long road ahead, but together we will continue to provide the care and assistance that is needed.  Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

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