Philadelphia, PA • Since 1819

Winter Updates 2014

With the cold comes some good news:  The Legacy Fund of the SJCC Bnai Aaron has generously agreed to support our Pharmacy Stipend Program for another six-months. Beginning March 1, twenty-seven women will receive a $50 gift card to the pharmacy of her choice. Eleven will continue for a second round; sixteen are new. The requests for emergency aid continue to pour in from social workers throughout the Jewish community, illuminating the economic crunch that puts hard working neighbors in economic jeopardy.

Esther is a married 27-year-old woman with a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old. Both she and her husband are teachers with a combined yearly income of $58,000. Credit card debt of $20,000 and student loans totaling $150,000 add to the stress of providing for their young family. They live frugally in a home they own while driving a 1999 Mercury. Esther recently returned to work after being on maternity leave, and her husband stays at a job he doesn’t enjoy to provide for his family. Having taken steps to refinance their mortgage and to consolidate their credit card debt, Esther and her husband are still in a financial bind. FHBS paid a $120 PECO bill and $288 for car repairs.

Betty, a recent widow with serious health issues, moved into Federation housing after losing her apartment in a fire. While adjusting to widowhood, she has had to deal with a financial crisis and deteriorating health. Her osteoporosis has led to three severe falls in the last year, requiring surgery and hospitalization and creating medical debt of $8,000. This, coupled with allergies that effect her breathing, necessitate a health aide coming to her home four-hours per week. Though she will get more Social Security as a widow, she still has $40,000 in debt and has filed for personal bankruptcy. To help Betty immediately and directly, FHBS is providing her with an Emergency Response System so she can access assistance should she fall or experience a breathing complication. With frail health and a precarious financial situation, Betty will need even more.

Again, there is a dramatic call for help from those in our community who have led productive, hard-working lives but are caught in an unfathomable situation beyond their capabilities. Let’s all pitch in to help ease their lives and give them some peace of mind.

Written by Judy Richards