Summer officially arrived this week! It's a season synonymous with family vacations, daytime outings with the kids and the occasional lazy day by the pool.
For the Jewish Federation, the arrival of summer signals the winding down of the Annual Campaign that began the previous fall. It can be a challenge to maintain the energy and momentum needed for the duration of an Annual Campaign, but we always find a way. Personally, I am inspired and motivated when I look around and see all the tangible results of our work locally as well as the work being carried out around the world through JFNA and our global partners who provide support, relief and comfort to Jews everywhere.
This week, Federation staff and volunteers have been very busy saying "thank you" to as many people as possible during our Summer of Love initiative, visiting our Jewish agencies on Monday and handing out sweet frozen treats to campus visitors on Tuesday, among other activities. But we've also been raising much-needed money for Federation.
Many of you received our Summer of Love mailing earlier this month - and you have responded with generous gifts! If you are active on social media, you probably saw our Virtual Lemonade Stand in your Facebook feed this week. It's an opportunity for people to make a campaign gift and let their friends know about their good deed and about the good work of Federation. We're very pleased with the response we've had, and we thank everyone who "Shared the #FedLove" online throughout the week. Our lemonade stand is open few a few more hours, so if you haven't had the chance, you can still get in on the fun and be part of the Annual Campaign.
On Wednesday evening, members of our Board of Directors raised money in a more traditional manner: working the phones, making that final push to end the campaign on a high note. It was a very successful mini-phone-a-thon, bringing in pledges of $70 per minute! We truly are touched by the generosity of everyone who "answered the call" to support Federation.
Adding to the excitement of the week, I am happy to announce that the Board also approved the Community Collaborative Grants that had been recommended by the Grants Committee. The committee worked diligently to review the proposals, ultimately awarding nine grants totaling $52,250. The funded projects cover a broad spectrum of services to every segment of the Jewish community, from teens to adults to the low-income elderly, as well as community-wide events. This is the third year JFGO has awarded these grants, which encourage collaboration among community organizations, and we have seen good progress in achieving this goal.
While it will take a few more weeks to finalize our Annual Campaign tally, we are on track to meet our target for the year. This is especially gratifying, given that we have grappled with so many costly issues in recent months, the biggest of which has been upgrading campus security. Our challenges are big, but the heart of our community is even bigger.
On behalf of the Federation, I want to thank all of you for the support you have given us over the past year. Whether you shared your time, your treasure or both, you have made a difference. As we've grown fond of saying, You're Why There's Federation!
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom,