Community Services

Many of our projects are temporarily on hold until it is safe to be together in group settings. Do not hesitate to call on one of the Chairs of the projects below as we still hope you will be involved.

VP’s Community Service: Janet Alloy janetalloy@yahoo.com, Carol Papish CFPAP22@gmail.com, Barbara Aferiat Barbara@aferiat.com

Hearing & Visions Screening of Preschoolers
NCJW is committed to continuing the testing of vision and hearing for preschool children when we are able to safely return to schools. Volunteers are trained to use audiometers for hearing testing and trained and certified to test for vision issues. Last year we tested the hearing of 353 preschoolers in 16 different schools and conducted vision screening in over 18 pre-schools.

We are always happy to train new members who are interested in this worthwhile community project. Please contact Nina Japhe (ninapc18@aol.com) regarding vision testing or Cecelia Horwitz (horwitzcecelia@gmail.com) for hearing testing.

Scholarship
This year, NCJW Sarasota-Manatee Chapter celebrates its 21st Anniversary of awarding financial assistance to non-traditional students to pursue their educational and professional goals through the Scholarship Committee. I would like to extend my thanks to committee members: Pam Gordon, Janice Grossman, Judith Kalish, Ginny Kutikoff, Ronni Loundy and Natalie Weinstein.

Building upon the foundation of this scholarship awards program, founded by Ruth Conwisher Rolfe, of blessed memory, last year the application process went electronic to allow for online submissions. We received a total of 10 submissions from non-traditional students defined as, “a minimum of twenty-four years of age; have a gap of at least six years following high school graduation; hold a high school diploma or GED; be a documented resident of Sarasota or Manatee County; be registered at an accredited educational institution, which must be a two-year college, a community college, a four-year college, a vocational/technical school, graduate school, or an online program.”

Thanks to the generosity of our members, donors, and business partners as well as the proceeds from the 2020 Women in Power Luncheon, NCJW was able to award a total of $21,000 to five selected recipients. Our scholarship award recipients were:
• Karen Arango, student at University of South Florida, St. Petersburg: $4,000
• Aaron Jones, student at LECOM School of Dental Medicine: $4,000
• Dianne Pierce, student at Capella University: $4,000
• Kino Robinson, student at Ringling College of Art & Design: $4,000
• Heidi Tinney, student at Keiser University: $5,000

We have begun soliciting applications for the 2020-2021 school year and we look forward to hearing from our current award recipients as they continue to pursue their educational goals.

We also are seeking new member volunteers to serve on the scholarship committee. Please contact Andria Bilan, Chair, Scholarship Committee: akbilan@gmail.com

Janet Project
Our Section has continued to be supportive of The JANET (Jewish Action for Non-Violent Expression of Tweens/Teens) Project by providing funding from our fiscal year 2021 budget to Camp Mariposa for the procurement of critically needed computers. These computers have provided 13 more tweens/teens the opportunity to participate in the virtual camp programs during this pandemic. Co-Chairs: Barbara Berkowitz: barbb707@gmail.com, Myna Stoltz: mynajeffrey@gmail.com.

Hope House
NCJW helped to again make the holidays special for the Adopt-A-Family For Christmas Program with HOPE HOUSE. A mother and her 4 daughters, infant to 13yrs, received donations of toys, clothes and needed items from their wish list. Our FAMILY had their best Xmas ever courtesy of our generous NCJW Board members. We received a lovely thank you note from the grateful Mom.

New this year, we will share the wish list of this year’s adopted family with all our members. Please look for an e-blast in early fall with instructions on how to donate through a gift registry. Packages will be sent to or dropped off to Sue Reiss’ home, then she and Rosalie will deliver the unwrapped gifts. Co-Chairs Rosalie Leon: robat52@gmail.com or Sue Reiss: sueartie@yahoo.com

Blankee Bee
Our Blankee Bee group worked tirelessly to make over 90 blankets this past season. Our blankets were donated to patients undergoing chemotherapy at SMH, Florida Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Sarasota. We also donated 24 blankets to Camp Mariposa at a fun afternoon working with the campers who learned to finish the blankets. Since we never waste ANY fabric that has been cut, we also made over 300 port covers for cancer patients. Watch for e-blast updates for future Blankee Bee meetings. If you are interested in this fun, non-sewing project please contact Dayle Gruder: lifesabeachbag@gmail.com.

Someone to Talk To
Someone to Talk To is a puppet program that is presented to first grade classrooms in Sarasota County. Using full size hand puppets, the program gently talks to student about recognizing physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Through the puppets and the scenarios, children are encouraged to talk to a safe adult who can help them.

We stand behind a portable stage, with script in hand so memorization is not necessary. If this sounds interesting, we are always interested in new puppeteers. Please contact janetalloy@yahoo.com.

This program will resume once we are able to volunteer in the schools.

Being Different is Okay
This is a preschool program about diversity. There is an approved script – all we need are enthusiastic puppeteers. If you are interested, please contact Helen Feinman: out2golf@optonline.net.

This program will resume once we are able to volunteer in the schools.

Book Drive
We want children to have books all the time but even more now during this time of isolation.

The partnership of NCJW and JFCS to end illiteracy had another successful year of new book donations thanks to the generosity of members and friends. Sheila Birnbaum, our member and Project Manager who founded the program Take A Look Buy A Book-DONATE, continues to work the Sarasota Manatee business community seeking donations and partnerships. There were over 3000 new books donated! The book distributions have been delayed due to COVID, but JFCS is working hard to see that the books soon reach the children served by their programs. We will continue the book drive so please watch for information in an e-blast starting in January. Thank you all for your generous donations and sharing the joy of owning books. If you would like to help in this project please contact Barbara Aferiat: barbara@aferiat.com

HIPPY
Home Instruction of Parents with Preschool Youngsters
This year we donated 80 backpacks with school supplies to the Sarasota and Manatee HIPPY children who successfully completed their HIPPY programs and graduate into kindergarten. Special this year each graduating child also received a gift of a new hard covered Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in The Hat. NCJW also provided monetary donations for books and other needed supplies.
If you are interested in learning more about HIPPY please contact one of the Community Service VP’s.