Houston volunteer opportunities

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF HOUSTON

What Is It?: A non-profit social service agency that serves Houston’s Jewish community and the general SW Houston community, “strengthening family life, laying the foundation for self-sufficiency, and improving both the social and economic conditions of our clients.”

 

Help Needed: Help create Shabbat boxes, nosh bags, and holiday gifts for Jewish hospital patients; provide needed items for homebound/needy clients; or perform for seniors.

 

Minimum Age to Volunteer: No minimum age for most projects; volunteers must be 12 for some projects.

Help Needed

SHABBAT BOXES

Every other week, decorate 12 boxes and fill them with Shabbat prayers, JFS brochures, grape juice, and mints (all items are provided).  Return the boxes to JFS, where challah rolls from Three Brothers Bakery are added and adult Chaplaincy volunteers deliver them to local hospitals every Friday for Jewish patients.  Must commit to serving for 3 months (approximately 75 boxes). Minimum age: 12.

NOSH BAGS

Each week, decorate small bags and fill them with provided items (kosher nuts, crackers, granola bars, pretzels, tea bag, etc.), for patients in M.D. Anderson Cancer Center waiting rooms.  (The Maurice Amado Foundation donates the bags’ contents.)  Must prepare at least 50 bags per month with a three month commitment. Minimum age: 12.

NECESSITY BAGS (for home-bound senior adults and financial aid clients)
Include an assortment of non-food items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, paper towels, dish detergent, and plastic silverware in a reusable grocery bag. This is a great project for a group – no minimum age. Contact JFS for more details.

HURRICANE KITS (for home-bound seniors and financial aid clients)

Assemble flashlights, batteries, canned goods, can opener, individual bottles of water, and other helpful items in reusable grocery bags. Kits are distributed to clients in May and August; contact JFS for more details.

THANKSGIVING BAGS (for home-bound seniors or financial aid clients)

$12 gift card to buy a kosher rotisserie chicken from Randall’s, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, can of low-sodium green beans, canned sweet potatoes, and no-sugar fruit cups or cans. Great project for groups or individuals, no age limit. 35 bags requested.

 

BAGS OF STAPLES (for home-bound seniors and financial aid clients)

Non-Perishable Food: Needed year-round. Suggested collection items include cheese sandwich crackers (Austin brand), unsalted saltine crackers, no-sugar fruit cups, granola bars, peanut butter, unsweetened apple sauce, and more.

Paper Goods: Paper plates, napkins, paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper, paper cups, plastic eating utensils.

These are great projects for groups or individuals, no age limit. 35 bags requested.

 

HOLIDAY GIFTS

Assemble purchased/collected holiday gifts for Jewish patients who are unable to leave local hospitals. For example, patients receive mishloach manot bags at Purim, Passover foods at Passover, milk chocolates at Shavuot (with a creative insert explaining why we eat only dairy), and apples with honey at the High Holidays.  Must prepare at least 40 gifts per holiday.  This holiday-specific project is good for groups/troops or family mitzvah projects.  Minimum age: 12.

SENIOR CHAVUROT

We provide speakers, musicians, and performers for monthly events at several local retirement communities. If you would be interested in presenting or performing (especially Jewish topics/music) for seniors, please reach out to us!  Most events are during the school day, but we have some evening events as well as events during winter/spring/summer breaks. Individuals or groups accepted. Contact Elyse Kunick (ekunick@jfshouston.org; 713-667-9336 x. 232)

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