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National Volunteer Week, a time for recognition and gratitude

This week is National Volunteer Week, and although we appreciate our volunteers every day of the year, during this signature week of appreciation, we at JF&CS want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who provide thousands of hours to multiple JF&CS programs and departments. We could not deliver the services we do without them.

At the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, more than 300 volunteers donate their time to tasks such as sorting donations, stocking shelves, unloading delivery trucks, packing bags and delivering groceries to homebound clients, assisting clients with shopping and check-out and more. In the last year alone, volunteers contributed 4,311 hours to helping the food-insecure in our community. In JF&CS’s refugee services department, 93 volunteers donated a total of 555 hours; providing weekly in-home visits to help new arrivals with learning English, understanding their mail and bill-paying, as well as helping refugee children with homework. In our immigration legal services department, volunteer attorneys, paralegals, law students and community members assist our Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representatives and immigration attorneys to help foreign-born residents who can’t afford a private attorney with immigration-related legal matters. In the past year, eighteen volunteers and interns have donated hundreds of hours to tasks including helping with data processing, representing clients in complicated asylum claims and teaching citizenship preparedness classes.

Volunteers stocking at the Pantry
At the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, volunteers stock shelves and sort donations to help the food-insecure in our community.

In addition, each year even more volunteer hours are donated by a number of organizations that devote social action hours to helping our clients and community. In 2012, organizations throughout the community including churches, synagogues, youth groups, schools and more donated 47,189 lbs of food to the Pantry.

We also must make a special note of one extraordinary JF&CS volunteer, Barbara Rosenberg. Barbara has been volunteering in our elder care department for more than 20 years, providing thousands and thousands of volunteer hours helping clients get the in-home care they need. In fact, Barbara spends so much time helping to administer our Caregiver Connection, that many JF&CS employees are surprised to find out that she’s not a paid staff member!

And no acknowledgement of JF&CS volunteers would be complete without a tremendous thank you to our board of directors, who donate countless hours to monitor and strengthen JF&CS programs and services.

As a non-profit human service agency, JF&CS provides a wide range of services to more than 8,000 community members each year. Volunteers and interns are vital to our work and mission, and we are so thankful to those who help make it possible for our agency to change the lives of so many in our communities.

Thank you to those of you who have chosen JF&CS as the vehicle through which you can make a difference. We couldn’t possibly touch and improve as many lives as we do without your partnership.

If you are interested in volunteering with JF&CS, or finding out more information about opportunities in our programs and departments, please call 412-422-7200, email info@jfcspgh.org or visit www.jfcspgh.org.