In just the last week, the coronavirus crisis has changed dramatically, upending our community in so many ways. I’m writing to send a quick update regarding what JFS is doing to respond. As of yesterday, we have transitioned the JFS office to remote mode. We have been especially careful and caring with our staff, volunteers and clients that are older adults.

Over the last two weeks, JFS has been planning for the possibility of remote work, so we were able to execute this protocol in a coordinated fashion thanks to our great staff. Remote means exactly that. We are not in the offices, but are available via email, phone, text, social media, etc. We aim to continue and, in many cases increase, the level of direct service that we offer.

While some programs cannot operate in the traditional form, our talented staff has identified telephone and online options to combat social isolation and deliver support and services to our clients. We are figuring out the most effective approaches to delivering our services remotely.

Despite concerns about the virus, our staff remains focused on producing positive outcomes for the most vulnerable in our community. Unfortunately, this virus crisis will increase the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, including issues around food and other basic needs. We are currently assessing the needs, and are working with our partners including CJP, the City of Framingham, Framingham Public Schools, Daniel’s Table and other community partners on a coordinated response.

CJP has also put out a great update on what they are doing with us and other agencies to respond.

I have been so touched by so many of you reaching out and offering to help in any way. As we figure out our expanded volunteer needs, please feel free to sign up and let us know what you are able to do, especially if you are able to drive and deliver meals and toiletries to isolated older adults. You can sign up here and fill out the volunteer interest form. You can also can donate here.

A last note: A big thank you to our board member Jonathan Gerber, whose family foundation, Holiday Dreams Foundation, has stepped up to assist in the response. The foundation has been a great partner with JFS delivering holiday gifts in December to children in need. His family is not waiting until December and has joined forces with all of us to feed those children and families. Thank you, Jonathan, and thanks to all JFS friends for your continued support.

Our target “return to normal” date is Monday, April 6, but we will be monitoring the situation and will reassess as the date nears.

Reach out if you need anything, and stay safe.

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