The following are some general volunteer opportunities that are needed on an ongoing basis:
Drivers Needed: Help people remain independent! Provide rides to clients for appointments and other destinations on an as-needed and as-available basis. Requires copies proof of insurance and driver’s license plus a driver’s record check, done at our expense.
Designated Shopper: Help people remain independent by providing assistance and companionship by going shopping or running errands with them. At times, clients may also need someone to pick up groceries or other items for them when they are not able to be accompanied.
Back-up Volunteer Photographer: Take photos at JSS events which will be used for promotional materials and social media.
Bikur Cholim/Friendly Visitor: Opportunities to visit with people in rehabilitation, hospital, or memory care. These visits can be made when convenient for you.
Computer/ Odd Job Help: Elderly and others looking for some help and support with doing small jobs – changing light bulbs, fixing loose hinge, etc. Help also needed to operate and learn basic computer tasks and general electronic devices such as television and remote controls.
Volunteer at holiday, social events, and Oakwood Shabbats: Help the residents of Oakwood Village welcome Shabbat one Friday per month from 3:30p.m.-4:30p.m. Seat guests, pour wine and juice, and distribute challah, interact with the residents of Oakwood Village and their families.
Oakwood Village is looking for volunteers currently to help with Shabbats. Please contact Paul Borowsky if interested. Please stay tuned or call Paul at (608) 442-4083 for updates regarding other holiday opportunities including Menorah delivery for Hanukkah.
By Rabbi Renee Bauer
By Dawn Berney, Executive Director
The months of August and September have brought significant turmoil to the United States. Charlottesville. Hurricane Harvey. The end of DACA for many teenagers and young adults in our community. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Jose.
I feel so fortunate to have Jewish Social Services (JSS) here in Dane County. Our team regularly revisits our core values to ensure that our programs, activities and actions are aligned with these values. It gives me hope for myself as well as for my children. It is important to me to show that we can make the world a better place.
Levy Summer Series – this summer we averaged over 90 registrants per luncheon, bringing together people of all ages who might not have met ever before.
Refugee resettlement – Since December, Jewish Social Services has resettled 30 individuals in Madison who could not safely return to their home countries. In addition, we worked to find housing, employment, and schools for another 12 people. These are individuals who had been resettled as refugees to other parts of the United States but had heard about how Madison truly “welcomes the stranger” and has employment options.
Case management – Our team works with senior adults who need appropriate housing. They help families to apply for food assistance or health insurance. They listen to people who are overwhelmed, and need to figure out their next step.
Chaplaincy – JSS and our community is fortunate to have a chaplain who can visit those who need spiritual or emotional support. She provides programs to our seniors where they live, when they cannot necessarily get out into the community at large.
If you would like to learn more about Jewish Social Services and our core values, or you would like to receive support or provide support, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at (608)442-4081 or on our website at www.jssmadison.org.
Near Westside single parent of child with intense emotional and behavioral challenges seeks assistance with (1) yard and garden work and (2) small home repairs.
This parent is hard working in the field of social services and is dedicated to prioritizing the needs of her two children, which means that attention to the house/yard is lacking. The following are project-based requests – not ongoing.
- Please consider volunteering time or funds to weed and prune garden beds. It would be great to gather a small group of people to take a Sunday (or weekday) to pitch in and create beauty from the chaos.
- Home repairs include stair rail, window blinds, curtain mount, door frame trim. Please consider volunteering time or fund a contractor to improve safety in this family’s home, which could likely be done in a morning or afternoon.
Your assistance would provide great relief to mom, and she would be extremely grateful – as it is difficult to face the overwhelm of upkeep in the face of her family demands.
You can make a positive difference in the lives of this special needs child’s family. Please email Maya Garbuz today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-658-2240
In addition to our previous opportunities, we now have additional volunteering needs with seniors!
We are looking for someone strong to help a senior to move boxes from one room to another. It should be about 2-3 hours.
Keep checking in to see our volunteer opportunities!
Like all of you, I was really struck by the events of this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. Madison is a college town, as is Charlottesville. We also have very passionate people who are ready to standup against anti-Semitism, islamophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia while needing to acknowledge that we have all of these within our community. I am glad that I live somewhere that it feels safe to speak out against many forms of bigotry. I know that Madison and Dane County are not perfect, but I hope that I never have to find words to explain to my children about that kind of hatred happening in our community. It was hard enough answering questions when it was 1,000 miles away.
One of my favorite blogs is Nonprofits: Absolutely Fabulous. Yesterday morning the author, Vu Le, wrote about how we somehow need to cultivate an attitude of both gratitude and impatience. Impatience is a great motivator, but it is also makes us angry, frustrated, and exhausted. Gratitude increases mental strength and helps us to sleep better (my personal favorite benefit). We really need to find a balance between the two, the balance of appreciating what we have, but also to use the energy that comes from impatience to push for change.
Typically the JSS team is not out in the streets showing its impatience. We could complain all the time about how difficult it can be for seniors to find affordable, appropriate housing or for immigrant clients without documentation to find medical care. We don’t. We use impatience when we need to advocate for a client who needs something she isn’t already getting. And mostly, our team is out there cultivating gratitude. Sometimes it is gratitude from a case worker at another agency who appreciates the tip we gave about an apartment that our client couldn’t use, but her client can. Sometimes it is the gratitude from a client who emails me “to emphasize that … JSS has an awesome social worker!” It is the knowing that we are doing right by our clients that prevent us from getting stuck in the impatient mode. And it is this gratitude that allows us to continue to help people ensure that they are getting their basic needs met and that they do not feel that they are living in isolation.
We can only do our work of practicing impatience and gratitude with support from the community. We need staff, donors, volunteers, clients, participants, governmental and non-governmental community based organizations all connecting in some capacity with Jewish Social Services. This is how we get our work done.
In the next couple of weeks you will likely receive a letter from Jewish Social Services about our Friends Campaign. It is the one fundraising campaign we do per year for our overall community and helps to pay for our operational costs for all of our programs, including resettlement. Without the Friends Campaign, we could not have Lechayim, case management, chaplaincy or refugee resettlement. We could not provide barrier relief, odd-jobbers, or friendly visitors.
If you have already given to the Friends Campaign, thank you. If you have never given to the Friends Campaign before, but have given to refugee resettlement, please consider supporting this Campaign. JSS needs the help of everyone to ensure that all of our programs will succeed.