Jewish Family Service receives grant from 2021 Women’s Giving Fund


Ellen Silver, executive director of the Jewish Family Service of Utah, wipes away a tear after Park City Community Foundations named her the recipient of the $ 40,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Fund at a reception at Red Pine Lodge on Tuesday night. Money will be used for caregiver support programs in Summit County
Tanzi Propst / Park Record

Ellen Silver was shocked and stunned on Tuesday night when the Park City Community Foundation announced that the Jewish Family Service of Utah would receive the 2021 Women’s Giving Fund High Impact Grant of $ 40,000.

“We were so surprised,” said Silver. “It was humiliating, thrilling and exciting. “

Silver, executive director of JFS since 2004, did not believe her organization, which offers non-faith programs and resources for families and seniors, fit the typical profile of former beneficiaries, including the PC extended learning organization. Tots, the anti-domestic violence nonprofit Peace House and the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring organization.

But the request from Jewish Family Services, which focused on using the money to provide support groups and safety net services to those caring for elderly family members, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease resonated with the foundation, as well as some of those who attended the awards ceremony. Before the grant was even announced, people approached Silver and thanked her for raising awareness about this issue.

“The feedback we received from people was amazing,” she said. “They told us how this problem affects everyone at any given time – parents, spouses.”

The Jewish Family Service of Utah will use the money to provide caregiver support programs – including mental health counseling, restorative activities and emergency financial assistance for caregivers so they can keep loved ones at home. house – from Salt Lake City to Summit County, according to Argent.

“Support for caregivers would also come in the form of many different things – support groups, helping families manage care or planning care,” she said.

Other plans include opening a Memory Cafe, a program that uses art, music, and other creative ways to help people struggle with the isolation of physical and mental issues associated with aging. .

“We wanted to open a memory cafe in Salt Lake last year and one in Park City this year, but we couldn’t because of COVID,” Silver said. “So I hope that when the elderly are safer to come together, we can open the program. “

Silver knows, through years of work, that caregivers experience some of the highest rates of emotional and financial stress in the country.

“If these caregivers cannot maintain their role, families are thrown into very difficult situations,” she said. “I also feel like family members who start caring for those who are aging at home just go home and close the door and we don’t know where they are. So we hope that by offering more services and reaching out to the community, we can discover these people and start offering them the support they need. “

In addition to the Jewish Family Service of Utah, the Youth Sports Alliance and EATS Park City were also finalists for the Women’s Giving Fund grant, and they each received $ 15,000 from anonymous donors who wanted to provide additional support to the finalists.

“When the women and girls of Park City come together to solve some of the most important issues in our community, we are driving powerful change,” said Kristi Cumming, board chair for the Park City Community Foundation, in a statement. “Today’s total of $ 70,000 is just one example of the commitment and dedication of this group of women to support their communities around the world. These funds will have a great impact on fellows and their missions.

Youth Sports Alliance will use the $ 15,000 grant to expand after-school opportunities for all children in Summit County, while EATS Park City will use its money to increase efforts to reach more children in need. food insecurity in Summit County.

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