JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jewish Family and Community Services is hosting its annual Holiday Gift Giving Program. The organization is collecting gifts for foster children and seniors it serves through its programs.
Colleen Rodriguez, CEO of Jewish Family and Community Services, said the holiday season can be challenging for children in foster care and seniors.
“It’s the isolation,” explained Rodriguez. “It’s being away from family. Every family has their own traditions, how they handle the holidays and if you’re not living with that family or you’re not able to be with them, holidays can be a very difficult time.”
Rodriguez said the pandemic has made this year even more difficult.
“Many of our seniors, were allowed to visit with them and talk with them and take them out, they have case managers but now they’re being seen via Zoom so that human touch and human communication has been gone for several months, it makes it more difficult,” explained Rodriguez. “This pandemic’s been very difficult on families and so more kids are coming in and needing our services which makes it more difficult around the holiday time.”
The organization’s goal is to give gifts to more than 1,700 children in foster care, seniors and Holocaust survivors that it serves through its programs.
“It lets them know they’re being thought of,” said Rodriguez. “It reminds them that they are still part of the community and the community is thinking about them and cares about them.”
For information on how to help, visit https://jfcsjax.org/.