Hand in Hand with the Elders at the New Jewish Home

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The Team at the New Jewish Home

Several years ago when Green House Guide and Director of Community Life Activities at The New Jewish Home, Manhattan, Miriam Levi, attended a Pioneer Network conference session on Elder volunteerism  she returned home ready to encourage a group of The New Jewish Home’s elders to create their own self-directed volunteer committee to plan volunteer projects  at the Manhattan Campus.

Over time, the group flourished and became known at The New Jewish Home Hand in Hand Volunteer Committee, a group dedicated to providing community service and fundraising opportunities among the residents of The New Jewish Home. Currently chaired  by residents Dominga and Karole, the group has helped with neighborhood CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) distribution, held bake sales, Valentine’s Day flower sales and created their own homemade jewelry, knitting projects and other crafts for craft holiday sales at The New Jewish Home. The group has decided to donate the proceeds from each of their sales to charities of the group’s choosing. Through their sales, the Hand in Hand has donated to the non-profit Doctors without Borders as well as St. Jude Medical Center and Victims of Hurricane Sandy. The proceeds from the group’s most recent sale were donated to New York Cares. The residents chose New York Cares because they wanted to give back to an organization that gives them so much. New York Cares provides volunteers for many of the recreation programs at The New Jewish Home, Manhattan. Dominga and Karole along with Miriam and Therapeutic Recreation leader Erin Keenan, hand delivered a $1000 check to New York Cares and personally thanked the New York Cares leadership for all that they do for the Elders of The New Jewish Home.  The next group the Hand in Hand committee will raise money for is the Make a Wish Foundation.

And just this month, the Hand in Hand Volunteer Committee sponsored a Red Cross blood drive at our Manhattan long-term care community in honor of Red Cross Month. Open to the Upper West Side of Manhattan community, the Hand in Hand team promoted the blood drive, made blood red beaded bracelets for all donors, and helped the Red Cross with anything they needed throughout the day. They also rewarded those that participated in the blood drive with raffle prizes!

Each Friday afternoon the group meets together with Therapeutic Recreation Leader Erin Keenan to discuss ideas and plan the committee’s projects.

The work of the group has been recognized and in 2016, Dominga was one of three recipients of the Live with Purpose award from UJA-Federation of New York, recognizing outstanding service and extraordinary dedication to volunteering. The Hand in Hand committee is dedicated to the work they are doing to make The New Jewish Home, and the world a better place.

Want to learn more about the Hand in Hand Committee and the great work being done by the Elders and the entire team at the New Jewish Home?  Then be sure to stop by and check out their Poster Session at the Pioneer Network Annual Conference!