JCC Association – the first Jewish organization to join the Foundation’s coalition and one of the first communities of faith to pledge its support – has already made headway in its commitment to help our nation better support military and veteran caregivers. Last month, the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, a JCC Association program, launched training for six Jewish Community Centers (JCC) selected to pilot Project Welcome Home, an initiative aimed at preparing JCCs to better serve local service members, veterans and their families.
In collaboration with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, JCC Association identified ways to adapt Project Welcome Home to ensure the training offered to the pilot JCCs, and the support these JCCs would ultimately provide to their local communities, included military and veteran caregivers. The association used RAND report presentation materials provided on the RAND website to give representatives of the pilot JCCs an understanding of the magnitude of challenges faced by military and veteran caregivers, and the resources they need most.
After just the first training, the pilot JCCs began collaborating on how to develop new community programs, and adapt existing ones, to assist local caregivers. They identified opportunities to not only include caregivers in formal assistance initiatives, but to inspire grassroots efforts where individual JCC members offer valuable support such as childcare, financial and legal advice, and running errands. The Foundation will continue to work with JCC Association to track the progress made by this pilot program and assist in replicating its success in JCCs and similar community organizations nationwide. We are proud to count JCC Association as a strong member of the national coalition.