Despite the wintery weather bringing a chill to the air, the community service work at NCJW is definitely heating up! We are excited to once again participate in Mitzvah Day this year on Christmas Day, and we look forward to having 20 volunteers assist with our Pic-a-Bag project. In response to a request from the Allegheny County Department of Children, Youth & Families, NCJW is going to be providing 300 bags containing personal care items to children entering the foster care system. These kids are often abruptly removed from their homes, and the Pic-a-Bag project allows them to have a few new comforting items of their own during a difficult time.
I’d like to thank our Community Service Chair Jenny Jones and Pic-a-Bag Chair Rachel Colker for working hard and fast to ensure we would have the items ready for the bag stuffing project on Mitzvah Day. I’d also like to thank our corporate donors: Leeds for donating 300 bags, Consolidated Graphics for the special luggage tags, and Chestnut Hills Dental for supplying toothbrushes and toothpaste. We are so grateful for your generosity and support.
Also, I am thrilled to announce that Amy Platt and Bonnie Rubin have agreed to co-chair our Gwen’s Girls Initiative. Gwen’s Girls is a program that serves at-risk teenage girls, many of whom are in foster care or live in a special residence with their own children on the North Side. Amy and Bonnie plan to coordinate numerous programs with the Gwen’s Girls staff, all aiming to help build the girls’ skills so they can achieve self-sufficiency upon aging out of the system. Please stay tuned for news of upcoming programs and volunteer opportunities.
Finally, I encourage you to pay special attention to the insert regarding volunteer opportunities and programming at our Center for Women. We are incredibly proud of what we have built in such a short period of time and are glad to already be serving numerous women in transition in our community.
Thank you for all that you do to make Pittsburgh Section thrive and to support the needs of women, children and families in our community. Warm wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!
Paula L. Garret