Last month, many generous individuals, organizations, and corporations collected holiday gifts for JFS clients. Through our Bright Holidays program, 432 individuals received hand-picked gifts such as clothing, toys, electronics, sports equipment, and other items on their wish lists. This is a significant increase from last year’s total of 308!
The gifts came from 65 individuals, groups, and businesses or organizations, which was also a large increase from 37 last year. Thank you to all the individuals and the following organizations for their generosity: Graland Country Day School, Cherry Creek High School, El Jebel Shrine, Greenwood Elementary School Book Club, Havurah Mosaic, Meritage Energy Company, Holland and Hart, Allied Jewish Federation, Denver Westin, and the Operation Santa Claus program at Lockheed Martin.
In addition, the Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel collected toys and gift cards from the Sunday school students that we distributed to 132 of SHALOM Denver's TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) clients at a holiday party. UMB Bank also provided 50 $10 gift cards to Target and King Soopers for these families to buy additional gifts.
Many JFS staff members also contributed gifts for this party and adopted families for Bright Holidays. "It always amazes me that our staff members are the first to contribute gifts for this program!" says Yana Vishnitsky, JFS president and CEO. "Even though nonprofit employees are not known for making a lot of money, they continue to exceed my expectations with their generosity!"
We appreciate everyone's compassion to make the holidays brighter for those in need! Ralitsa Ranova, JFS International KidSuccess school-based therapist, said, "I had the chance to see great joy in the eyes of my clients when they got their gifts." There are countless stories we wish we could share about how thankful
all the families were for the outpouring of support from so many in the
Shelley Kolman, JFS Family Safety Net administrative assistant who helped with the Bright Holidays program, said, "Many people referred other family members and friends to adopt. We had one individual recruit five families to adopt people for the program, who then each adopted several families of all sizes including one family of 12. I was blown away by all the new donors that came forward this year!"
And last, but not least, thank you to Westword for donating 554 pounds of food and $250 in gift cards for clients of the Weinberg Food Pantry through their annual holiday drive!
Thank you to Andrea Stillman (pictured above) and all our volunteers who helped organize all the gifts!
-Alaina Green and Kari Alpen, JFS Marketing Department