Holocaust Survivor Support Extended through Gulf Coast JFCS
(CLEARWATER, FL – Friday, January 27, 2023) –
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gulf Coast JFCS announces the 2023 Kavod-SHEF partnership and $200,000 matching gift opportunity to provide critical daily care to local Tampa Bay Holocaust Survivors.
This is the third year for the partnership, initiated in 2021 with the launch of Gulf Coast JFCS’ Holocaust Survivor Urgent Care Fund, a special fund dedicated to meeting unmet personal care needs for Tampa Bay area Holocaust survivor community. Since 2021, Gulf Coast JFCS has partnered with the Kavod – Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (SHEF) initiative to address the growing needs of aging Holocaust survivors.
In 2022 alone, Gulf Coast JFCS assisted some 150 of the nearly 300 survivors with over 10,000 additional hours of home care through this matching fund beyond our routine emergency food assistance, medical, dental, and transportation support. Since its launch, this partnership consisting of local partners Tampa Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast, and national partners KAVOD-SHEF (Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund) and the Seed the Dream Foundation, has raised more than $500k.
This year’s $200k match, when completed, ensures $400k will directly mobilize additional care to bridge the current gap of more than 1,000 unmet home care and other urgent care needs. An estimated 1,000 Holocaust survivors live in the Tampa Bay area. Gulf Coast JFCS currently serves about 250 of them across Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Gulf Coast JFCS provides various types of assistance to 250 or more Holocaust Survivors in the Greater Tampa Bay area enabling them to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. While many of these survivors lived independently most of their lives, as they age, they now require increasing assistance with essential daily needs. Compounding this increasing personal care need is the financial burden of acquiring assistance. Approximately 30% of survivors live below the poverty line. For others, the high costs of medical and home care have depleted their financial reserves.
The Holocaust Survivor Urgent Care Fund supplements assistance to Holocaust Survivors served by Gulf Coast JFCS to allow them to remain in their own homes. Believing “remembrance is an action”, Cindy Minetti, Gulf Coast JFCS Senior Director of Jewish Family Services, states “Sometimes it’s as simple as installing a shower bar to make living at home safer, but increasingly, we are looked to for greater financial needs from transportation to medical appointments, hurricane-related home repairs, and home care assistance.”
This really is our last chance to help our Survivors—those who are still with us—to live out their lives in dignity.
“The issue is not going away and is not dwindling! Our Survivors are getting older and are having bigger financial stresses. We only have a few years left with these courageous individuals and we feel it is our responsibility to take care of them and offer them peace in their final years. They have been through enough and as a human community, we are responsible,” says Amy Israel Pregulman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of KAVOD.
Here’s an example of how funds will make a difference:
• $10,000 provides weekly unmet urgent care needs of 8 hours for one survivor for a one year. These additional hours can mean another meal prepared, assistance with bathing, dressing, or other essential daily tasks.
• $5,000 provides 2 survivors with needed restorative dental work. Due to malnutrition in their earlier years, many survivors have major dental needs.
• $1,800 provides 18 survivors assistance with food insecurity.
• $1,000 gives 4 survivors medical alert systems for one year.
• $180 helps provide 5 days of grooming, laundry, or light housekeeping.
• $72 gives 3 hours of companionship and transportation to a medical appointment.
To make a contribution, direct your contribution by written correspondence to Gulf Coast JFCS at 14041 Icot Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33760 noting the Holocaust Survivor Urgent Care Fund or click here.
ABOUT GULF COAST JFCS: Protecting the vulnerable, strengthening families, and empowering individuals throughout the state of Florida since 1960, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (Gulf Coast JFCS) is a 501(c)3 supporting nearly 37,000 diverse individuals and families of all backgrounds annually through its numerous programs across Greater Tampa Bay and beyond. Learn more about Gulf Coast JFCS at www.gcjfcs.org.