WEST HARTFORD, CONN. (April 14, 2017) – The Caring Community Senior Shopping Program is seeking pairs of volunteers to assist older Jewish adults with grocery shopping and create a Jewish cultural connection.
The Senior Shopping Program – which was recently launched by the Jewish Community Relations Council, part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford – pairs two volunteers with a Jewish senior for weekly or biweekly visits in perpetuity. In addition to developing a social relationship, volunteers shop for groceries using a provided shopping list and store gift cards that are paid for by the client.
“It's a great opportunity to do an ongoing mitzvah, or good deed, with a friend or family member,” says Jo Schubert, a program officer at Jewish Federation who runs the Senior Shopping Program.
Clients benefit from both the practical and social aspects of the program. “My client lives in an assisted living facility in Hartford,” explains one volunteer. “Although he used to keep kosher, he is now limited to the groceries he can find at Walmart. The first time I visited, we went over a shopping list of items he’d like, things like kosher meat and fresh fruit. The first time I went shopping, even though it was only a few bags' worth of food, I filled his fridge and freezer. We talked about our shared love of musicals and the jigsaw puzzle he was working on. Yesterday was my second visit. He didn’t need much in the way of groceries but he said, ‘Bring me something Jewish! Anything Jewish - I don’t get that here.’ I picked up some latkes and rugelach, and you should have seen his face light up when he saw the bag! I'm so pleased to be able to provide that connection to the Jewish community.”
A background check and a brief training session are required for all volunteers. Anyone over age 12 is eligible to volunteer with an adult, and families are welcome to volunteer together. To learn more, please contact Jo Schubert at 860.727.6139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo © 2015, Stephen Shames/JFNA