JBBBS had been scheduled to celebrate its 100th anniversary on May 14 and, unfortunately, due to the challenging circumstances facing us all, we needed to cancel our in-person event. We quickly pivoted and created a virtual opportunity to celebrate JBBBS’ key milestone. We were not going to let COVID-19 stop us!

Our community came together to participate in the JBBBS Toast Challenge. Volunteers, board members, staff, donors and supporters posted photos of themselves via social media toasting JBBBS. The virtual celebration culminated on May 14, for a Virtual Toast to honor JBBBS’ 100th anniversary and our magnanimous honorees, Karen and Steven Sisselman, on JBBBS’ Facebook page. If you didn’t get a chance to watch our Agency Centennial Toast on Facebook Live, please take a few minutes and watch us here.

Our goal for this 100th anniversary is to strengthen and grow our programs for the future so we can engage even more children and adults with mild to moderate disabilities. We also want to continue to increase our camp and college scholarship/mentoring programs, and further enhance the volunteer experience.

Perhaps even more striking is that the demand for JBBBS’ services during the COVID-19 pandemic has been increasing. Indeed, we have never been busier supporting the hundreds of vulnerable children and socially isolated adults with disabilities who need connection and friendship now more than ever:

  • We are actively recruiting volunteers and making new matches. In the last several weeks, we have recruited 20 volunteers and made more than a dozen matches across our programs, including three in our new LGBTQ+ program.
  • Our dedicated staff of clinical match specialists are on the phones and on Zoom checking in with families, friends and volunteers, and ensuring everyone has the resources they need.
  • We are creating innovative programs to help combat social isolation, including our virtual seder this spring, which attracted more than 1,000 views, as well as our new Expressive Arts Initiative.

Now more than ever it’s important to celebrate all that we have accomplished in the last 100 years and continue to invest in our future. Our children, our adults with disabilities and their families and our volunteers desperately depend upon our community’s support. Please consider donating to JBBBS and help us continue to make a big impact on the lives of so many in our community.

To learn more about JBBBS, I encourage you to visit our website or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. My heartfelt thanks, and best wishes for continued health and safety.

Thank you
(Courtesy image)

Jeffrey Savit is the CEO of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston.

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