Home Agencies Gratitude and love warms JFS’ hearts for Lights of Love

Gratitude and love warms JFS’ hearts for Lights of Love

Two of the many volunteers who helped wrap Lights of Love Gifts are (front) Denise Wise-David and (back) JFS CEO Wendy Kreuter.

By Becki Mann

Chief Impact Officer, Jewish Family Services

After the holidays are over, we’ve sung Auld Ang Syne, and welcomed a new year, it can be hard to remember the warmth and acts of kindness from the season.

At JFS, thanks to the generosity of many people who picked up a flame from the Lights of Love Menorah at the Weinstein JCC and bought gifts for the person listed on the flame, we got to experience a wave of gratitude and love that warmed our hearts and filled us with joy.

Teresa Baldwin, JFS director of Human Resources and Volunteer Services, received many thank you calls from recipients of Lights of Love gifts.

Immediately after the gifts were wrapped and delivered by JFS volunteers, Teresa Baldwin, JFS director of Human Resources and Volunteer Services, started to receive more than her usual number of phone calls and letters.  Many of the people who had received Lights of Love gifts, were calling to thank her and the many volunteers who helped them have a happier holiday season by bringing them a bag of gifts.

R called and said:

I am crying because I am so thankful!  I don’t know if I deserve all of this but I am so excited about all these packages!  Please give thanks to everyone who helped with this!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Mr. B called and left a message:

I just received my gifts today and I’d like to thank you and all the volunteers involved, including delivering them to my house!  Thank you for all these very nice and wonderful gifts and please extend my appreciation to everyone for all they did and for their kindness and generosity.  I wish everyone happy holidays and a very Happy New Year!

MJ called and in her rich Virginia accent she said:

I thank you so much and I appreciate you so much for sending me my Christmas gifts!  I hope you have happy holidays and a very happy new year!

We also received notes and cards, including a note from Ms. M,

Dear Ms. Baldwin,

Mr. S from JFS came to my house to deliver a gift package from JFS.  He was very kind and courteous, a wonderful gentleman.  Thank you very much!  I just don’t know how to thank you and JFS for all your kindnesses to me.

Have a wonderful holiday.


In February, the month of hearts and romance, we still cherish the memories of the overwhelming gratitude, the love of these and other people who received gifts through the Lights of Love program wanted to share their joy and appreciation.  At JFS our hearts are warm and full because of the generosity and kindness of so many people who volunteered to buy gifts, wrap gifts, and deliver gifts for the Lights of Love program and for these and other sweet expressions of love and thanks.

Happy Valentines Day!

For more on JFS visit jfsrichmond.org/connect

Jewish Family Services is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution and programming grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.