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Lights of Love shines brighter this year

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Rabbi Elisha Paul and JFS CEO Wendy Kreuter with students and family members of Rudlin Torah Academy who were dropping off toys at JFS.

By Morgan Goad, Associate Director of Development

Jewish Family Services

The Lights of Love shone brighter than ever this year! Thank you so much to everyone who shopped for a neighbor and shared a little extra light and love this winter.

(From left) Mike Eisenman, JFS Trustee and Innsbrook Rotary member; the JFS Development team, Morgan Goad and Becki Mann; and Tasha Moore, the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond.

Because of your generous support, JFS delivered personal gifts to 171 homebound elders and adults with disabilities, low-income families, children in institutional foster care placements, and new neighbors from Ukraine and Russia.

We have many special thanks to share!

To the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s Sisterhood and Women’s Philanthropy and all our JFS volunteers, for helping wrap so many presents; to Rudlin Torah Academy for sharing the gifts from their third annual toy drive honoring Skyler Legano, OBM; and, of course, to the Weinstein JCC for hosting our giant menorah again this year!

(From left) RABA Executive Andrew Mann; Ray from My Guys Moving; JFS Chief Impact Officer Becki Mann (no relation!); and James, also from My Guys!

JFS was also thrilled to partner again this year with Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA) to give bikes (and helmets!) to kids living in Fairfield Court, one of the East End public housing communities we serve.

This year, thanks to a gift from the Rotary Club Of Innsbrook, we were able to get 23 bikes, twice as many as last year, and 66 helmets – enough for the kids who’ve grown out of last year’s! JFS is profoundly grateful to My Guys Moving & Storage Richmond for helping haul the bikes and to Boys and Girls Club Of Metro Richmond for giving us a place to store them until the holidays!

JFS has already received calls and notes from several neighbors who received gifts from Lights of Love. One elderly gentleman, with emotion in his voice, left a message saying, “Thank you very much to all the volunteers for the gifts that I received. Thank you for doing that for me, and I hope you had a nice holidays and New Years. Take care.”

Some of the gifts, wrapped and ready to be delivered.

(From Left) Judy Gary, Sara Waskin, Elly Goldberg and Jennifer Adams wrap Lights of Love gifts at the Federation during a Women’s Philanthropy Sisterhood special night in December. More than 20 women took part in the event including Inessa Nosenko, Executive Director of the Mazel Tov JCC who was visiting from Zaporizhia, Ukraine. Hundreds of gifts were wrapped that evening.

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