Jewish Family Service of the Desert (JFS) is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that provides an array of counseling and social services to those in need regardless of religion, age, income, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle.
This year, JFS will provide direct services to more than 5,000 men, women and children in need. We are one of the largest, charitable providers of mental health, wellness and crisis services in the Coachella Valley.
Established in 1982, our misson is to provide for the social service needs of the Jewish and general community throughout the greater Coachella Valley with a commitment to promote the well-being of persons of all ages, incomes and lifestyles. Services have always been available on a non-sectarian basis to all those in need.
The staff of JFS is comprised of a dedicated group of professionals committed to serving our community. They have diverse professional backgrounds that include clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, drug addiction specialists as well as geriatric case managers helping the most impoverished and vulnerable members of our community.
JFS services include: 1) mental health counseling for individuals and families; 2) KidsFirst school based counseling services; 3) KidsFirst Healthy Life drug resistance prevention education program; 4) geriatric care management and advocacy services for low income, homebound seniors; 5) food support to seniors, low income individuals and families; 6) JFS Express-transportation services for homebound seniors to medical/social service appointments; 7) Friendly Visitor-volunteer visitation to isolated seniors; 8) Let's Do Lunch!- a bi-monthly activities and luncheon program for isolated seniors; 9)programs serving our Jewish community including Cafe Europa which provides support and education to Holocaust survivors; Shabbat in a Bag-volunteer visitation to the homebound to celebrate the weekly holiday; and Jewish holiday programs; 10) camp scholarships for low-income children; 11) Positive Life educational speaker series for those living with HIV/AIDS; and 12) information, referrals and linkages to access vital community services.
We have so many stories to tell about the critically needed services JFS provides to men, women, children, families and senior throughout out Coachella Valley community but there just isn't enough room so we would like to share one story about Emmanuel and James.
Everyday in the Coachella Valley, a child will be too scared to go to school for fear of being bullied. This is one of the most pressing issues addressed by KidsFirst, a JFS counseling program in partnership with Palm Springs Unified School District.
Emmanuel and James are among more than 600 boys and girls in KidsFirst this year. Emmanuel, age 9, immigrated here from a small Mexican village four years ago. The only child of a single father, he found it difficult to relate to other children and to make new friends. Emmanuel was slight of build and had a minor speech impediment. He found himself the object of torment by 10 year old James, who regularly pushed, shoved and hit him.
For James, bullying was all he knew and was a survival he learned early in life. His parents were addicted to crack and domestic violence was a regular occurerence in his home. At age 3, James was removed from this dangerous environment and was placed in foster care. The ensuing years did little to address the trauma to which he had been exposed. James learned to be the aggressor before anyone could hurt him.
Together in group therapy, Emmanuel and James were able to communicate directly with each other and the bullying subsided. James learned new ways of how to positively manage his anger. Emmanuel developed assertiveness skills and began making friends.
On the day of his 5th grade graduation, Emmanuel gave a big hug to his JFS counselor and asked if she would come with him to middle school. "I don't know what I'm going to do without you around," he told her. Her counselor smiled and said, "Emmanuel you are going to be just fine."
Emmanuel and James are among the nearly 5,000 men, women and children JFS has served this year. With your support, JFS can continue to make a signficant difference.
Your support is critical to our ability to provide services to the ever increasing number of Coachella Valley residents turning to JFS on a daily basis. Your donation helps JFS to continue to provide quality services to those most in need throughout the Coachella Valley.
Thank you for your support! We couldn't do the work we do without you!
*Supported by Jewish Federation of the Desert
Jewish Family Service of the Desert
Employer id number (ein)
Address801 E TAHQUITZ CANYON WAY SUITE 202