"Without CJFS I'm Not Sure What I Would Have Done"

by LaBrena Friend  

Walk into Ida Campbell’s tidy Birmingham apartment and you’d never know how close to the edge she’s been. Thirteen years ago, she lost a son and moved back to Birmingham to care for her ailing sister, and then her mother. Although she had worked her whole life, she didn’t realize her wages had been paid in a way that left her with Social Security benefits far below the poverty level. At age 70, she was depressed and facing serious health and financial issues.       

Fortunately, a friend told her about Collat Jewish Family Services. Grief counseling, budgeting assistance and a move into subsidized senior housing helped her regain her balance. Today, CJFS’ friendly and affordable Buz-A-Bus makes it possible for her to shop and go to the doctor without the expense of a car. A couple of hours each week, a CJFS Personal Care attendant helps her with the household chores she can no longer manage alone. Annual Medicare Part D consultations help ensure that she never pays more than necessary for prescriptions. And since July, she’s enjoyed monthly grocery deliveries, delivered by CJFS volunteers through the agency’s new partnership with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. “At the end of the month, my finances do get tight, and so that extra food has really been a help, especially the milk,” Mrs. Campbell, now 83, says of the federally subsidized senior grocery program. “If I hadn’t had CJFS when I first moved back, I really don’t know what I would have done,” she adds. “It’s just a pleasure and a blessing to have all of them in my life.”

Helping seniors like Mrs. Campbell continue living independently for as long as safely possible is a big part of CJFS’ mission. We do it for older adults who have adequate funds for retirement – and we do it for those who don’t. “It is our honor to provide exceptional support services to people in Birmingham’s wealthiest zip codes, as well as to those who have very little,” says CJFS Executive Director Lauren Schwartz. “We’re able to do this because of the trust this community has placed in us – trusting us to care for their loved ones and trusting us with their contributions.”

If you haven’t yet made YOUR gift to the 2019 CJFS Friends campaign, DONATE HERE – and thank you!

CJFS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information, please contact Elaine Witt, Development Director, elaine@cjfsbham.org or 2015.879.3438.