LONGMEADOW — Mensch is a Yiddish word that describes an honorable person who does good deeds, and on Christmas Day, despite the snowy winter weather, more than 30 mensches volunteered to support and entertain residents and employees at JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow.
“This is a longstanding tradition for us,” said Susan Halpern, vice president, Philanthropy, JGS Lifecare. “We call it Honorable Menschen Day in tribute to our caring and dedicated volunteers who give of themselves throughout the year.”
JGS Lifecare volunteers of all faiths — including community members, board members, staff, families, and youth groups — spent time on Christmas Day visiting with residents at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home, the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation, and Ruth’s House assisted-living residence. They played games, helped with laundry, greeted visitors, and served coffee and snacks, including festive Christmas cookies, to residents and their guests.
In addition to benefiting the residents across the JGS Lifecare campus, the volunteers also lightened the load of the staff who were working on the holiday, allowing them to spend more time with their loved ones.
“We rely on our volunteers every day,” said Halpern. “They staff our coffee and gifts shops, run our bingo games and other activities, and provide entertainment and companionship. They deliver mail and help with laundry. We couldn’t care for our residents as well as we do without the dedication and support of our volunteers.”
Halpern added that more volunteers are needed. “As an organization, we constantly seek individuals and groups to provide friendship and enjoyment to our residents, and add meaningful programs and services that ease the challenges of aging.”
To learn more about volunteering at JGS Lifecare, call Christina Tuohey at (413) 567-3949, ext. 1613, or visit jgslifecare.org/volunteer.