Because YOU are JFS...
In this Issue
It's February! Although it is a short month, there are a lot of holidays!  There's Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day. Did you know that Presidents' Day combined two holidays, Washington's Birthday (February 22) and Lincoln's Birthday (February 12)? Oh wait, this year we get an extra day added to the calendar on February 29th, Leap Year Day!    

This month we will spotlight our development volunteer, discuss the origin of Black History Month, and read about the importance of lowering your blood pressure for Heart Month. There are also some fun facts about Leap Year!

Make a difference, VOLUNTEER!  Recommend a friend too!
Volunteer Spotlight
Name: Barbara Mines                                       
Occupation: Receptionist          
Time with JFS: 3 years
Volunteer Position: Development Assistant

Barbara plays a dual role at JFS as a part time receptionist and as a volunteer for Development. Starting at the age of 10, she volunteered for many Jewish organizations. After being employed for years, she wanted to find a place that would help her give back to the community. That place turned out to be JFS, her first choice. Initially Barbara had a hard time asking for money or donations; however, a dear friend reminded her that she was not asking for herself, but for those in need. Barbara is passionate about helping people and asking for donations is part of the job. She loves the challenge and feels rewarded by doing her part. On a personal level, Barbara loves spending time with her family and friends. Barbara said she is blessed to have three married children and seven grandchildren. Two children live locally and one lives in New York, making it possible for her to participate in their lives.  

Thank you Barbara for all that you do for our organization. JFS is truly fortunate to have you as a volunteer with a dual role. Your organization and attention to detail allows us to get our work done efficiently!  
What is a Leap Day/Year?
What is Leap Day? February 29th is added to the calendar during Leap Years. Since this is a Leap Year, let's find out why it is necessary to add a day on the calendar and how it works.

In order to keep our calendar (The Gregorian Calendar) in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun, we need to have a Leap Day. We would lose almost 6 hours every year if we didn't add a day on February 29th nearly every 4 years because it takes the Earth a little more than 365 days to circle once around the sun. If we looked ahead for 100 years we would lose a total of almost 24 days if we didn't make this correction!datebook-header-orange.jpg

The last Leap Year was February 29, 2012. In order to be a Leap Year, the following criteria must be met:
  • The year can be evenly divided by 4.
  • If the year can be divided by 100, it is not a leap year.
  • Unless the year is also evenly divided by 400. 
  • Julius Caesar invented Leap Years in the Roman Empire!    
www.time and date.com
January Hours & T-Shirts
Despite the wintry weather, JFS volunteers have spent 300 hours helping others in the Metrowest community during the month of January! 

Thanks for Your helping Hands!
Our clients thank you and we appreciate you for standing up for those in need!
Once you've reached 20 hours of service you are eligible for a t-shirt. Those that reached that mark are:
  • Gabriela Carrasquillo
CongratulationsPlease let us know how you'd like to collect your t-shirt!

Please remember this is based on the number of hours recorded in our system. If you volunteer for programs other than Wilson or Patient Navigator the system does not auto calculate your hours. If you don't know how to log your hours of service, let us know and we'll help you!
February is African American History Month
Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard trained historian and alumnus of University of Chicago, wanted to raise awareness of African American contributions to American civilization. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and envisioned Negro History Week in 1925. It was first celebrated in February of 1926 by honoring the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. People responded positively to this initiative and over the years it has grown in importance. Today most students are instructed in the history and the importance of the African American contributions to American civilization.  

By the 1950's, Negro History Week was an important part of African American Life. Mayors of major cities issued proclamations making all aware of this celebration. In the 60's, blacks on college campuses became focused on links to Africa. In 1976, the shift from a week of celebration was changed to Black History Month and every president since has proclaimed this for the nation. (Daryl Michael Scott for ASALH)
February is Heart Month 
According to the CDC, people with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Since there are usually no symptom, in order to determine if you have high blood pressure, you need to have this checked by your doctor.

If you have high blood pressure it is important to get it under control:
  • Make it a goal to lower your blood pressure. Track your pressure.
  • Always take your blood pressure medication at the same time each day.
  • Don't smoke or quit if you do smoke.
  • Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure. Read about ways to lower your sodium intake through making changes in your diet.  
For more information about high blood pressure go to http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/pressure/
Program Spotlight
 Wilson Family Assistance

At the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Framingham, many families have struggled with unemployment , foreclosure, overdue utility bills, the threat of eviction and abusive relationships due to the economic downturn which has hit especially hard in low-income communities. In viewing this need, JFS created a Family Assistance program at the Wilson School and stationed a bilingual community resource specialist on-site 8 hours each week. This year, 73 families have received assistance with more than 60% of the families headed by single mothers and 80% Portuguese speaking households. 

In this low income community many families have been helped by JFS to apply for benefits and services and have been directed to legal, medical, housing and employment resources. For the past year, the top six services provided by the program include; Food and Gift cards, Public Pantries referral, Backpacks, referrals for ESL Classes, Jacket/Winter clothes and Health Insurance assistance. We are proud of the benefits offered through this important program and we thank you for doing your part to assist those in need.

Upcoming Opportunities
JFS has many ongoing programs and opportunities. Here are a few available right now!
  • Patient Navigator: Accompany older adults to their medical appointments and help facilitate communication with the doctor. Training in March!
  • Math Academy Mentor: Support 4th graders in academic achievement and social skill development. Be a positive role model!
You can visit our website to learn more. To learn more or sign up for any of these opportunities, please contact Sarah Roth, sroth@jfsmw.org, 508-875-3100 x320.
We are JFS!
Happy February
Sarah Roth, MSW
Manager, Youth, Immigrant
& Volunteer Services
508-875-3100 x320
adoption choices logo
Adoption Choices
Since 1982, Adoption Choices has been helping build families in Massachusetts.

JFS Elder Care Solutions
Using an integrated approach, JFS has been working to meet the needs of elders in our community.

Patient Navigator
JFS volunteers are working to help facilitate communication with elders and their doctors.

Learn about these and other JFS programs by visiting our website.
Stay Connected
475 Franklin St. Suite 101, Framingham, MA 01702

JFS of Metrowest | 475 Franklin Street | Suite 101 | Framingham | MA | 01702