Home Agencies JFS Connecting Hearts had a busy fall!

JFS Connecting Hearts had a busy fall!

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Between the Virtual Bowling Ball awareness-and fundraiser and November’s “A Hand to Hold” media campaign, we have been busy sharing the stories of children in foster care and recruiting potential foster and adoptive families!

JFS Connecting Hearts is humbled by the work of our sponsors, volunteers, donors, and partners to make the entire effort a success! Because of their compassion and generosity, the Virtual Bowling Ball reached its fundraising goal and our message about the children in foster care awaiting adoption reached thousands of families.

JFS Connecting Hearts is especially grateful to WTVR CBS 6 News for joining us for another “A Hand to Hold” Adoption Awareness Month campaign!

Every day in November, CBS 6 featured children in central Virginia’s foster care system available for adoption, raising awareness about the need for foster and adoptive parents and hoping to connect kids to loving families.

This year’s “A Hand to Hold” by the numbers:

  • 31 children featured – 18 from the Richmond area – between the ages of 10 and 17
  • 38,500 views of the kids’ features on JFS and CBS 6’s social media
  • 5,000 unique visitors to the JFS Connecting Hearts website – 50% of JFS’ total web traffic in November
  • 70 families called JFS Connecting Hearts to inquire about adoption, and half of them inquired about a specific child
  • 32 families are now working toward becoming certified to foster or adopt

And, the happiest news of all … Two children were placed with their forever families!

Traverious

Traverious was featured on CBS 6 on the first day of “A Hand to Hold,” Nov. 1. The very next week, he moved into an adoptive placement! Traverious is now well on his way to permanent adoption!

Treazure

Treazure has been in foster care and featured in the Heart Gallery for several years. Then, during this year’s campaign, her biological father recognized her and immediately contacted JFS. After the DSS’ review, Treazure is now reunited with her father!

Many thanks to all the sponsors, donors, volunteers, and partners who made the campaign a success. Their hard work made a tangible difference in children’s lives by telling their stories, reaching new audiences, and finding their forever families!

JFS’ second annual Lights of Love was a great success, thanks to you: our friends, partners, volunteers, and staff!

Lights of Love is a program designed to help bring warmth and light to neighbors who might otherwise feel forgotten. Last year, generous donors and friends brightened the holiday season for 40+ adults, seniors, families, and children in foster care.

(From left) JFS staff – Becki Mann, Teresa Baldwin, Sonji Gall, Sydney Fleischer and Charlotte Bowen – pose for a photo with Lights of Love gifts. JFS Photos

This year, Lights of Love reached twice as many people: nearly 100 seniors, children in foster care, adults with disabilities, and families in need received personalized gifts, gift cards, and (socially distanced) visits with JFS volunteers or staff members!

The wish lists were as varied as their recipients from prune juice to costume jewelry, Dragon Ball Z to gospel CDs. Many of the children JFS Connecting Hearts works with live in residential settings or group homes – having presents to unwrap, like the toys collected by Rudlin Torah Academy, can make an otherwise difficult holiday season feel brighter.

One JFS counselor dropped off gifts for two of her elderly clients.

“Both are ladies in a nursing home, with no family or friends to look after them and help them feel special. Lights of Love makes a difference,” she said.

Another JFS staff member noted, “Thanks to the community, I have everything my clients wished for.”

Thank you so much for your help spreading holiday joy and light during this difficult year!

If you would like to know about about JFS, reach out to Morgan Goad at mgoad@jfsrichmond.org or (804) 282-5644 ext. 231.

Jewish Family Services is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution, a programming grant to support the Jewish Care Line and COVID-19 Crisis Relief Funds from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

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