Monday, August 5, 2013

JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options)

I like to help people. It's one of the things I do, over the years I have figured out some pretty fun ways to help out, this is one of my favorites:

The first I ever did was JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options.) When I was in 3rd grade, just like every other year, my school did a christmas gift drive. They assigned each class two children (a boy and a girl.) Being jewish I always wondered how every jewish child had Chanukah gifts and none of them ever needed help. One day, while driving home from school I asked my mom. She responded with a simple answer, "But they do." Of course I didn't know what that meant.

Going into 4th grade, while cleaning my room, I decided I needed to help them. My mom went online and discovered JAFCO. They said they would take my old toys. I thought, "Great, now all the kids will get new toys to play with." I went to drop them off and realized all my toys wouldn't be enough for the kids at JAFCO. I was upset. But Chanukah was right around the corner.

I told my mom I wanted to help. She called up JAFCO and asked how we could help. Each child makes a wish list, 8 wishes, one per a night. I decided rather than taking a child's wish list and buying everything myself I would take it to the next level. I sent an email to my Cantor asking if I could get the whole religious school involved, the answer was of course, yes. The first year didn't turn out as well as it could have, my class took a child. Every year I would just ask the Cantor if I could do it again and she would always say yes. The second year I got the whole school involved, we fulfilled 2 children's wishes. Then the next to years we did 4 children. The the 5th year (this year) I decided to take it up another level, I got the congregation and whole religious school involved in JAFCO, we were able to fulfill 8 children's wishes. I hope to keep making JAFCO bigger and better and helping more children.

What can you do to help your community?

Crisis, panic or help?

I recently asked a friend, "Are you highly useful in a crisis?"
She responded, "I try my best to be."
"I usually go and step in and pitch into the situation the best I can, however sometimes I mess up or someone fixes it first." 

I believe most people try to be like this. Why wouldn't they want to help in a crisis? I would try to help. But you can't always help because someone might fix the problem first or you could mess it up or you could just not know what to do. 

So many situations have passed me where I just don't know how to help. Injured animals sit in front of me, dying slowly but I truthfully don't know how to help them; it breaks my heart every time. I don't think many people would admit to not knowing what to do. Most people are stubborn and want to believe they know everything but eventually they will have to face the cold, hard truth.

What would you do if you were in a crisis? A fire? A tornado? Someone broke in? You're friend is sick? You're pet is dying?