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  • From devastation to empowerment

    May 1,2015


    Gene was 81 years old when his girlfriend passed away. It was her social security benefits that were keeping them afloat. When she died, he couldn’t meet his expenses. He was diagnosed with colon cancer, finished his treatment and didn’t have anywhere to turn. Gene has no family in the area and needed support. His original request to JFS was for financial assistance. Through a grant from the Premier Cares Foundation, JFS helped Gene pay for a cable bill. But when the door was opened, we learned that JFS could help him in other ways. Gene needed to lower his bills. Stacy, our case manager offered him many suggestions. They included:
    • Discontinuing his home phone as he could use just his cell
    • Lower his cable bill by reducing unnecessary services
    • Have meals delivered by Office for the Aging
    • Apply for senior housing
    • Borrow medical equipment from the loan closet
    • Receive food from a food pantry delivered by a veteran (considering his vet status)
    • Sign up for transportation and shopping from the JFS Friendly Visitor Program
    And there was more. The heart of the story is that Gene followed through with every suggestion that Stacy offered. He took advantage of all of the pearls and he can now meet his expenses. JFS did not do for him. We made an offering and Gene did for himself. To me, this story reflects one of the bests gifts we can offer; that of empowerment. Thank you Gene, for helping JFS to express our mission. We stand by empowering people facing challenging times to live with dignity, hope and strength.