Friday, December 28 - Shortly before Christmas, JVS Works regaled you with tidings of our holiday gift card appeal and how Christmas came early to some of our neediest clients. The stories and photos are trickling in and we’ll be sharing them here and on Facebook. We have some preliminary totals.
The Holiday Gift Card appeal brought in $2,830 as well as a large donation of toys from William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Morris, Sunny Caine, Ellen Morehead, Rick Powell, Steve Seigel, The Baran and Spiwack Family, Nan Goodman, Eileen Slutsky, Richard Krelstein, Judith Galperson, Josie Kotliar and Pat Sills.
As the stories below very clearly establish, your donations make an impact.
Candida D., Jesus and their sons Giovanni 12, Brandon 8 and Jesse 2 live in a small apartment in Panorama City. Jesus works in construction and Candy was laid off before Jesse was born. Candy has successfully completed HealthWorks™, the Certified Nurse Assistant (CAN) training program and was just hired this month at a mental health facility, but she and Jesus are strapped for money and the likelihood of having anything to give the boys this holiday was really slim until JVS donors stepped up.
Shayla C., recent BankWork$™graduate, was facing dire economic hardship and homelessness, when she received a job offer at Wells Fargo as a result of her BankWork$™ training. She is excited to begin her new job, but didn’t know how she would survive until her first paycheck. Thanks to the generous donation of JVS donors, she received Target gift cards which allowed her to purchase the items she needed to begin her professional career and Ralph’s cards to buy food through the holidays. According to BankWork$™ Manager Lisa Meadows Shayla “was thrilled and had tears of joy.” We thank our JVS donors for helping another BankWork$™ student reach a goal of self-sufficiency.
Krus G. and her children Hazel, Abraham and Israel
Krupskaia “Krus” G., single mother of 3, Abraham, Hazel and Israel, struggles to make ends meet on her part-time in-home caregiver salary. There was no money for a holiday celebration or special meal for her family until she received JVS donors’ Target and Ralph’s gift cards. She says “(JVS) has provided the hope and help I needed to stay positive.” Krus has been accepted into HealthWorks™ and is excited to begin training. She hopes to find full-time work soon and work her way up the career ladder to become a registered nurse (RN). “I couldn’t believe people I didn’t even know would reach out to help,” said Krus. “There are angels among us.”
Marvin H. is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who worked as an information technology (IT) Specialist for 20 years until he was laid off in 2010. He has worked as an independent consultant but was unable to find full-time employment. Marvin exhausted his savings and became homeless, living at the West LA VA Domiciliary. Marvin is recently employed through the JVS' Veterans First program and will start his new job in January 2012 as a help desk IT technician. Marvin will use the Target gift cards from JVS donors to buy new work clothes and is very happy to start this new chapter of his life.