Liptalk: With Your Help, Federation Agencies Can Work Together to Benefit Families
A Message from Andy Lipkin, Federation Executive Vice-President
Each December, like clockwork, I call Mr. Schwartz* to make an appointment for lunch to talk about what’s new with the Federation and its agencies. At this same time, I ask for his pledge to the Annual Campaign. When I call Mr. Schwartz, my conversation goes something like this: “Well, it’s that time of the year, the one day of the year that we ask for your donation, while the other 364 days a year we talk about how we can spend our community dollars.”
Each year, as I recount the many new programs and services offered by the Federation, Mr. Schwartz has shared with me his concern for an older sibling. As a brother and guardian, he had become increasingly concerned for her safety in the area where she lived. He also was seeking a more normal sibling relationship with her, not a guardian relationship where he had to count every penny she spent. Over the years, I told him about our assisted living residence, Levy Gardens, and the guardianship program offered by Jewish Family Services.
About a year and a half ago, his sibling visited Levy Gardens, but was happy in her current living setting, and was uncomfortable with any change in her life. About six months ago, management of the building she lived in announced they were closing, and gave tenants a 30-day notice to move. There was no choice; it was time to find another place to live.
So, she moved to Levy Gardens, and couldn’t be happier. She interacts with many of the other tenants, where previously she was a shut-in, and now participates in many of the activities at Levy Gardens. She even attends programs at the JCC, with transportation provided by Levy Gardens.
Having made the move to Levy Gardens for his sister, Mr. Schwartz wanted to learn more about the guardianship program sponsored by JFS. For those who don’t know, JFS has 33 guardianships in the community, consisting of clients who are Jewish and non-Jewish. I knew this could help him restore the kind of relationship he was seeking with his sister. Mr. Schwartz is currently working with JFS to move his sister’s guardianship to the agency.
I love sharing this story because it is true. It shows how we, the Federation, through your generosity to the Annual Campaign, have made life better for these two siblings. This story also shows how multiple agencies of the Federation work together. Just imagine, there are many more stories like this locally, regionally, nationally, in Israel and worldwide, that are made possible by you when you give generously to the Annual Campaign. No matter what your level of giving, thank you, and remember, you will probably never know the people who benefit by your generosity.
If you would like to share a story with me about how Federation made a difference in your life, for your family, or for someone you know, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
*Name has been changed
Executive Vice-President, Youngstown Area Jewish Federation