Story by: Jessica Goldstein
Volunteering has always been an integral part of JSDD’s community engagement. In the past, volunteer opportunities have ranged from weekly sing-alongs in a JSDD home to teaching classes at the WAE Center. Since COVID-19 forced us to close the physical doors to the WAE Center, we had to hit the “pause” button on volunteering, as well. Virtual WAE to Connect classes were implemented in April and a full schedule of classes continues today.
Dedication to the men and women we support turned out to be more powerful than the pandemic. Determined community members were still eager to support JSDD so, as always, we turned to “Plan B.”
As part of her day of Corporate Volunteering, Jennifer Levin reached out and asked how she could help. She and her daughter were excited to plant mums at our Livingston home. The residents were able to wave from afar and thank them and then assumed responsibility for watering the plants and watching them flourish.
The Nocito family found a beautiful spot for gardening at the Maplewood home, planting ferns and hostas which will grow and bloom in the spring. They were so happy to see the sukkah up in the yard and the residents have enjoyed nurturing the plantings.
We, too, are continuing to grow and adapt. There are more (socially distanced) volunteer opportunities all the time. Jessica Goldstein firstname.lastname@example.org will be happy to assist individuals or corporate groups in identifying opportunities.