By Elizabeth Judd, Development Manager for Community Engagement
A talking parrot?
Yep, that is what 4-year-old Joshua wanted for his Hanukkah present last year. A large plastic and feathered talking parrot from a specific toy store. He had seen this creature on a recent trip to the toy aisles with his family, but the family budget didn’t allow for toys this year…and if Josh remembered right, they didn’t allow for toys the year before either.
Disappointed, Joshua relayed this story to Laura, his therapist at Jewish Child & Family Services’ Virginia Frank Child Development Center. And Laura knew the cure. She signed Joshua and his sister, Ruby, up to be recipients of JCFS’ Holiday Gift Program.
With glee, Joshua received exactly what he wished for that Hanukkah. His new found companion continued to delight him for the entire year. Even at the young age of 4, he knew there was more to the parrot than just a toy. Even though he couldn’t verbalize this unknown connection, his therapist saw a difference in his home life because through that chirping bird, Joshua felt heard, strengthened and loved by his mother, his therapist and an unknown community.
Can you help a child in need?
Community members, synagogues and businesses throughout Chicagoland are invited to participate in JCFS’ Holiday Gift Program to provide help to struggling families, like Joshua’s, during this winter holiday season. Each year hundreds and hundreds of children in JCFS’ care depend on our community to help make the holidays brighter.
The winter holidays are quickly approaching. You can help provide hope and help for a child in need. Your participation in JCFS’ Holiday Gift Program can be in the form of fulfilling specific gift requests from children in JCFS’ services, holding a new toy drive or giving a gift card for those hard to shop for teenagers in JCFS’ residential programs.
JCFS is a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.
Photo Credit: SquawkersMcCaw.com