Four Summer Fun Ideas for Your Family

One more month before kids go back to school. It comes before you know it. Sometimes in our busy schedules we forget about the importance of summer for children (and ourselves). What were some of your favorite childhood summers and why? For adults, unless you are a teacher, summers are business as usual. We easily get caught up in our to-do lists and forgo time for summer fun. But we shouldn’t let our summers pass us by.

Use the summer as an opportunity to nourish your relationship with your children. Not only is it fun, but you’ll benefit by investing quality time with them that has nothing to do with chores and grades. It also is a way to tap into your own inner child who might not get enough recess!

Below are ideas about how to create summer fun for your family:

1. Movie and popcorn night: take turns picking the movie and watch it together once a week; and be sure to add a nutritious snack or popcorn with butter; whichever you like. Simulate the theater as much as possible by turning off phones and turning down the lights.

2. Beach day: we have an amazing playground in our backyard – the ocean! Take the kids to the beach and have them help create a picnic basket for when you arrive. Planning and creating a nice day for the family is not only rewarding, it also models to your children how to do self-care.

3. Home hands-on projects: it is very therapeutic for an activity to be hands-on and physically creative because we need this to balance out all the electronic time spent on phones, videos and games – parents included. This could be scrapbooking, gardening, or painting. Ask your children what they would like to do – they don’t often get the power of choice, so give them an affordable amount to work with. This enhances their feelings of empowerment and allows them to be the one to decide.

4. Summer brainstorm: when school is near, get together to strategize on the year ahead. This is a good time to come up with a verbal contract of agreement on how the next school year will be; ideas such as setting their own homework and/or chore schedule. Collaborating helps build trust and teamwork and encourages parents to be proactive instead of reactive. Don’t forget to ask your child what you can change to help with the process.

It may feel overwhelming if your days are already busy, but this makes it even more important. To slow down and have quality time away from stress for everyone in the family is modeling good mental health. Your children will get the message that having fun together as a family is important, and that learning the self-discipline to make the time for self-care is healthy.

Interested in more parenting or family wellness advice? Call 407-644-7671 or email to schedule an appointment with a JFS counselor today! Medicare, Medicaid and almost all commercial insurances are accepted. In addition, we’re one of the few remaining agencies in Central Florida that operates on a sliding fee scale (as low as $55 per session) for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept.


Author: Brenda Chappell, LMHC

Brenda Chappell, LMHC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Brenda has worked with children at home and at schools, domestic violence shelter, and with adults in office outpatient therapy. Brenda holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a specialty in Play Therapy.

Brenda Chappell specializes working with adolescents, children, and their parents with a variety of issues such as child defiance, depression, anxiety, poor school performance, divorce, domestic violence, substance abuse, and grief. Brenda utilizes Adlerian Child Guidance Principals to enable parents to be more effective, Play Therapy to children to explore their feelings and problems, and specific treatment approaches appropriate to the child or adolescent’s reported issue. Brenda has special training in Domestic Violence Advocacy.

Brenda’s therapeutic orientation is client-centered, family systems, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral. Brenda utilizes Adlerian Child Guidance Principals to enable parents to be more effective and to build stronger relationships with their children. Brenda’s strengths lie in her ability to connect parents and children or adolescents through building a shared understanding and partnership.

Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Plotkin and Debbie Shelton

Leslie (left) and Debbie (right)—working in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry

Meet lifelong friends, Leslie and Debbie—JFS Orlando’s newest volunteer power duo. Both locals to the area, Leslie and Debbie became friends way back when in 11th grade at Winter Park High School. “Our 50th high school reunion is next March 2020!” Although they’ve remained in the same area, both agreed it’s been hard to find time to see each other. “Life gets in the way…”

Debbie, a mother and grandmother, recently retired from working for 30 years at a law firm. Now she enjoys a host of pastimes, including watercolors, calligraphy, growing her own vegetables, and spending time with Leslie.  Leslie, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, has been a supporter of the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry and fighting hunger in Central Florida for years. “I’ve always supported JFS”, says Leslie. “I have wanted to volunteer for a long time and I finally, at the beginning of the year said, ‘I’m going to make this a priority.’ And I came in and I loved it! And now I’ve got Debbie to come do it too!”

“I think we’re a good team,” says Debbie. One day, Leslie happened to mention to her that she had started volunteering at JFS. “I asked her and she said, ‘Yeah, come with me,’” Debbie recalls. “She’s teaching me and it’s such a quick study. I only started a couple weeks ago and we’ve gone 0 to 60!”

Leslie shared that she likes working in the Pantry because of the food it gives out and how welcoming it is. “It amazes me the quality of the food that we get. This is good stuff! And it’s open to everybody. It’s not faith based only. It is anyone in need. Anyone and everyone.” There is, however, one thing that both Leslie and Debbie like more about the Pantry: the people they are helping. “The people are so appreciative,” says Leslie. “I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been blessed and it’s a very fulfilling experience. I’ve really enjoyed it.” “People at the door are grateful. Appreciative,” says Debbie. She explains how she always tries to make them feel comfortable, not ashamed or judged in any way. “I try to just be bright and happy!”

Thank you, Leslie and Debbie, for those bright, happy smiles and all of the hard work you both put in every week at the Pantry. We’re so appreciative of you and we know our clients are too!

Want to be a part of the JFS volunteer team? Join us in fighting hunger and giving back to your community by becoming a JFS volunteer! Several types of opportunities are available, including in the Pantry and the Babysitting Team. To sign up, contact Cherryl Faye, Volunteer Coordinator, at 407-644-7593 ext. 239 or

Four Tips for Getting through June: A Month of Transition


June 1st was “National Say Something Nice” Day: a good way to start an article for our June Newsletter.

Later in the month, I am reminded by the calendar to celebrate “Old Maids”, “Call Your Doctor” and “Insurance Awareness” Days, all of which make me feel old. Likewise, “Strawberry Rhubarb Pie”, “Cream Soda” and “Black Cow” Days make me think of my late father, who loved all of those old-fashioned foods. Yet, I am happy to recognize “Make Life Beautiful” and “Daylight Appreciation” Days, along with “Best Friend” and “SummersGiving” Days.  And I could go on, with National “Waffle Iron”, “Pen Pal”, “Drive-In Movie”, and “Chocolate Ice Cream” Days…all of which bring me warm feelings, reminders of my youth.

The odd variety of celebration days this month triggers for me a set of mixed feelings. I remember summers as a little kid in the mid-west. My mom would make strawberry rhubarb pie and my dad would smile from ear to ear with delight. On the way home from the beach, my family would stop for a black cow drink at the drive-in. On Saturday evenings, we would look forward to popcorn and chocolate ice cream at the drive-in movie theater while watching a double feature. And then, on Sunday mornings, our family tradition was to enjoy crisp waffles with lots of syrup. How did the June National Day designators know our family so well?

June feels like a month of nostalgia, and, therefore, a month of transition. As I muse about days long-gone, I am made aware that the days are getting longer—hence, “Day Light Appreciation Day”. Noting the transition to health, June includes “Cancer Survivor Day”, and in a funny challenge to transition, June 3rd is designated as “National Repeat Day”—acknowledging that sometimes transitions can be rough and we sometimes must repeat a step or a phase as we move from one place to the next.

With the goal of moving forward and making a successful transition, let me offer a few tips, as I “Say Something Nice” about transition. Given the thoughts above about aging, I will use the transition of “getting older”, or more concretely, retirement, as the basis of my tips. However, most of the tips are applicable to many types of transitions, whether they be related to a job, a relationship or moving.

1. Explore what this TRANSITION means to you.

This exploration will likely include what society “says” about the transition. For instance, as you think about retirement, what does it mean to you to not work? Do you feel like you are not contributing, that you have no purpose? Do you feel that there is a stigma related to your new role in life? How you, and society, feel about this new role will have a huge bearing on how well you transition to this new place.

2. Discover the OPPORTUNITIES.

This is particularly important if you find yourself with some pretty strong, negative feelings or facing a powerful stigma. With every transition, there are opportunities; it may take a while to uncover them, however. You may have the opportunity to learn, meet new people, or restructure your life to achieve some forgotten goals. With your eye on the opportunities, the negative feelings can melt into the background.

3. Articulate your LOSSES.

The flip side of opportunity is the perception of loss. Without acknowledging your losses, you will too easily fall prey to paralysis or self-sabotage. Will you miss old friends, lose status, or potentially struggle with the lack of structure? With every transition, even those that we excitedly embrace, we lose something.  While those loses might be insignificant, it is always a positive step to acknowledge what they are.

4. Assess your RESOURCES.

Once you start on the path and know where you want to go, see the light ahead in terms of opportunities, and are ready to let go of your losses, you still need tools to move forward. What resources do you need and which do you already own. For instance, do you have a support system of people that you can check-in with along the way? Do you possess stress management skills to help you through those rough spots that are filled with uncertainty? What other skills might you need: assessment, flexibility? What relevant experience do you have?

During this month of “SummersGiving”, we can give ourselves the gift of support. Whether this is the month that you decide to retire, move into a senior living community, leave a bad marriage, or make a commitment to make some new friends, you will likely need some help in making this transition. Counseling services at JFS Orlando can be just the assistance you need to move through to the other side. You will gain skills as well as enjoy the support.

It’s easy to “Say Something Nice” about JFS’s Counseling Services. You, too, will have something nice to say as you take advantage of the benefits offered to you. We will be your partner as you transition—not just this month, but each and every month of the year.

Call 407-644-7671 or email to schedule an appointment today! Medicare, Medicaid and almost all commercial insurances are accepted. In addition, we’re one of the few remaining agencies in Central Florida that operates on a sliding fee scale (as low as $55 per session) for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept.

Author: Eloise Stiglitz, Ph.D.

Eloise Stiglitz, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist. Eloise received her Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from Purdue University. While her professional identity has always been as a psychologist, she has spent many years in higher education as a counselor, administrator and faculty. After she retired as Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students from a major university, she returned to her roots as a practicing psychologist.

Her passion is helping people through challenging transitions, whether it includes a crisis like a divorce, death, move or career shift, or a personal evolution centered around sexuality, spirituality or disability. She works with seniors, helping them through their difficult times, young adults creating their sense of self, as well as all those in between struggling with the many life challenges that we all face. Her specialties include women’s issues, depression and anxiety, substance abuse and addictions, sexuality, grief and relationship concerns.

Eloise believes that the therapy relationship is a powerful healing tool, empowering people to make the desired changes in their lives. Her eclectic therapy style integrates cognitive-behavior, Neuro-linguistic programming, and solution-oriented interventions with a relational-developmental, client-centered perspective. More importantly, she connects with her clients through intensive and caring listening, truly open-hearted support and a delightful sense of humor.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eileen Meyer Schwartz (In Memoriam)

Eileen (left) and fellow volunteer, Dolores (right), working in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry

Dedicated volunteer and friend of JFS Orlando, Eileen Meyer Schwartz passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Eileen dedicated her life to helping others through her work in the legal field. She was a legal assistant for over 50 years, first in New York and later in Orlando after she moved in the 80’s. In August 2017, she married Jerome M. Schwartz.

Eileen loved to support her community by volunteering. In January 2017, she became a Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry volunteer. “Eileen was always smiling,” said Cherryl Faye, JFS Volunteer Coordinator. “She brought such a ray of sunshine to the Pantry; to her fellow volunteers and the clients she helped serve. She just spread happiness to everyone she touched.”

JFS is greatly saddened at the loss of such a beautiful and caring friend. Please join us in sending heartfelt condolences and prayers for Eileen and her family and friends.

Volunteer Spotlight: Holiday Meal Delivery Volunteers

Susan Lazarus (left) and Susie Stone (right) getting ready to deliver Passover holiday meals

Volunteering is good for the mind, body, and soul. This couldn’t be truer for JFS Orlando’s Holiday Meal Delivery volunteers. Although on the surface their job is to simply deliver food to seniors in need, it’s their generosity, dedication, selflessness, and drive to go the extra mile for people they don’t even know that truly impacts the community, (and benefits their own mental health as well!).

The Holiday Meal Delivery Program delivers meals free of charge to homebound, low income seniors in the Greater Orlando area three to four times a year, during Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah. It is part of JFS’ core Jewish value of communal responsibility, to honor our parents and care for older adults. In 2018, the program delivered more than 170 meals to 67 homebound seniors.

JFS is very fortunate to have a big group of dedicated Holiday Meal Delivery volunteers. They’re one of the main reasons the program is able to continue. Although there are many more, at this time JFS would like to spotlight the following volunteers from the recent 2019 Passover meal delivery:

Julie Auerbach

Randi Cunningham

Len Fleet

Susan Lazarus

Lauren Roth

Rachel Selber-Krops

Susie Stone

Dena Wild

David Wittenstein

Susan Lazarus has volunteered with JFS Orlando since she retired back in 2012. “What I like the most about volunteering at JFS is meeting other volunteers, greeting the clients and knowing that I am making a positive impact in their lives.” She volunteers with the Holiday Meal Delivery Program and in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry. “I was a Guidance Counselor in Winter Park for 30+ years. A few times in the last 7 years I’ve opened the pantry door and seen one of my school family members that I told about JFS and the food pantry. That is my paycheck—Great feeling!”

In addition to volunteering at JFS, Susan volunteers at many other organizations around town, including the Ronald McDonald House, the gift shop at Ohev, and the Jewish Pavilion. She enjoys people and helping others, hence, volunteering is an important part of her daily routine. Not only does it help others, but it brings her joy as well. “When you give to others…it makes you smile…sign up, you will love helping!”

Thank you, Susan, and all our other Holiday Meal Delivery volunteers for taking the time during the holidays to deliver much more than meals, but also kind faces and kind words to seniors in our community!

Want to be a part of the JFS volunteer team? Join us and give back to your local community. Several types of opportunities are available, including pantry, office assistance, and holiday meal delivery. To sign up, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Cherryl Faye, at 407-644-7593 ext. 239 or

Five Tips for Adulting with ADHD

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One disorder worth raising awareness about is ADHD, an invisible disability. “An estimated 9% of children between ages 3–17 have ADHD. While ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it does not only affect children. An estimated 4% of adults have ADHD.” (Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness)

ADHD and ADD are interchangeable terms. ADHD is the official psychiatric term. There are three types: hyperactive, inattentive, and combined (hyperactive AND inattentive). All types have in common deficits in what is called executive functioning. Executive functioning includes focus, organization, time management, and self-control—important skills that make it easier to set and accomplish goals. ADHD often co-occurs with (is accompanied by) mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders. All in all, it’s more difficult for a person with ADHD to get things done.

Below are five tips to improve your mental health if you have ADHD:

1. Allow extra time to do things.

If you know you are notorious for underestimating how long things take, plan to do less, much less, in the time you have allotted for work, school, errands, chores, etc. You will be less stressed and less frustrated with how little you accomplished.

2. Plan to arrive early for things.

Don’t start doing something new if you have to leave within 15 minutes. If you want to arrive on time most or all of the time, you should plan to get in the car 15 minutes before you actually need, to account for last minute delays and traffic. Rushing and weaving madly through traffic does not calm the soul.

3. Put everything you need to do in a date book and on the calendar of your phone.

Set alarms, even for daily events, like picking up kids from school or leaving work, if you tend to get so absorbed in things that you lose track of time. Getting super-absorbed in an interesting activity to the exclusion of everything else is called hyper-focusing, and is, ironically, also typical for people with ADHD. Getting a wristwatch with a timer can help you remember the little things like getting the pasta off the stove in ten minutes.

4. Take ADHD mess-ups in stride.

All your best systems will sometimes fail and you will occasionally miss deadlines, forget appointments, arrive late, lose things, blurt things out, etc. Coming to terms with this reality, even as you layer on more reminder buzzers, can be freeing. I like to say, “You laugh or you cry.” Laughing requires fewer tissues.

5. Forgive yourself for not becoming what you could have been if you had better executive functioning skills.

Forgive yourself for under-achieving or taking longer to get there than others. Having ADHD isn’t easy and should be taken into account when you pull out the ruler and see how you measure up. What? You say you can’t find your ruler? You’re in good company.

Take charge of your mental health! During this Mental Health Awareness Month, take a moment to reflect on your mental health. JFS Orlando’s licensed counselors are here to help you navigate through life’s daily struggles or those big life-changing moments.

Medicare, Medicaid and almost all commercial insurances are accepted. In addition, we’re one of the few remaining agencies in Central Florida that operates on a sliding fee scale (as low as $55 per session) for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept. Call 407-644-7671 or email to schedule an appointment today!

Author: Dorrit Ram, LCSW

Dorrit Ram, LCSW, earned a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is a licensed clinical social worker experienced in providing psychotherapy to teenagers and adults with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, dissociative disorders, addiction, autism, and intellectual disability. She specializes in working with people who have experienced childhood trauma.

Dorrit utilizes an eclectic therapeutic style and a little humor to help people regain a lost connection to themselves. She offers habit reversal training for common body-focused repetitive disorders such as nail biting, skin picking, and trichotillomania (hair pulling).

Dorrit thinks that therapy is a great way to gain insight, develop self-acceptance, and make lasting changes. She conducts therapy sessions in English, Spanish, and Hebrew.

The Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry Van Gets a Facelift!



The Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry van is a vital tool in the work that the Pantry does everyday to feed the hungry in Central Florida. Our Pantry Assistant, Audrey, uses the van to visit and pick up food from local grocery and community partners. Until recently, we used large magnets on the van to distinguish it as the JFS Orlando Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry van. However, the magnets would usually either melt onto the van under the hot Florida sun or would fly off in transit. We knew we needed a better way to brand the vehicle while also ensuring Audrey’s safety during food pick-ups.

Thanks to The Pearlman Family and to FastSigns of Orlando, the Pantry van got a facelift! Sporting the JFS Orlando colors and information, it’s ready to continue travelling around the Greater Orlando area picking up food for the hungry. (Not to mention, it is now a great marketing tool to get the word out there about JFS and our work in the community.) Keep an eye out for it when you’re on the road!

Volunteer Spotlight: Dolores Indek, Ashley Urquhart, and Wendi Szafran

JFS babysitting team (left to right): Dolores Indek, Ashley Urquhart, and Wendi Szafran

Most of the time it’s the big life-changing gestures we remember, but truly it’s the behind-the-scenes helping hand that makes it all possible. The same can be said about the JFS babysitting team.

The Family Stabilization Program (FSP) is a long-term case-management program that requires individuals to attend several educational workshops on Tuesday afternoons. Although the workshops are vital in helping participants get back on their feet, many of these clients are single parents who cannot attend without childcare. That’s why JFS began a volunteer babysitting team to watch FSP children while their parents attend workshops.

“I am providing a service for families so they are able to improve their lives. It is one less item they need to think about or stress over,” says volunteer, Wendi Szafran. Wendi has called Orlando home for most of her life. While earning her Masters in Social Work at UCF, she volunteers at various agencies around town, including JFS. She says she began volunteering on the babysitting team back in 2017 because “I was becoming much more involved in the community. I wanted to volunteer with children in different ways.” One particular moment that stood out to Wendi was when a young girl she was taking care of wanted to return to her to continue learning kids yoga instead of staying at home. “That was a heartening moment.”

Another FSP babysitting volunteer is Dolores Indek, who also volunteers in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry. Dolores helps out with childcare once a month or when needed. After working for Lockheed Martin for 50 years, she is now retired and volunteers around various Jewish agencies in the community. She particularly likes volunteering at JFS because of the “great feeling you get when you come here. And everyone is friendly. You feel like you’re really helping the community out. I wish the community knew what a wonderful job they do here.”

Similarly, volunteer Ashley Urquhart chose to volunteer with JFS because she wanted to help out her community and do something good. “I started volunteering about a year ago,” says Ashley. “I wanted to do something more productive with my time.” Born and raised in Florida, Ashley works full-time and enjoys hanging out with friends and staying active. She heard about JFS and thought it would be a great opportunity to give back. She loves working with the kids and coming up with fun activities for them to do. “A year ago, around Easter, I brought in Easter eggs to decorate with stickers and markers. It’s a good activity. I really liked it.” Not only does she enjoy the work she is doing, but she has connected with her team. “Everyone here is really friendly, really nice. The other volunteers I work with, they welcomed me right in, and we have our own little email chain going on. It’s a great way to give back and everyone here is super nice. It’s a great place to be.”

Thank you Wendi, Dolores, and Ashley for taking care of our FSP children and, in turn, giving their parents the chance to learn, grow, and get back on their feet. Your help is truly vital to their success!

Want to be a part of the JFS volunteer team? Join us and give back to your local community. Several types of opportunities are available, including pantry and office assistance. To sign up, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Cherryl Faye, at 407-644-7593 ext. 239 or



5 Ways Volunteering Benefits Your Mental Health

Whether it’s coaching a little league team, feeding the hungry at a food pantry, or building a home for a family displaced by a natural disaster, without a doubt volunteering is something we should all do to help others in need. Although it is a selfless act, volunteering isn’t without its benefits. Here are five ways doing good does you good:

1. Provides a sense of purpose or meaning

How often do we actually get to feel we are doing something that benefits the greater good? How many times have you been sitting at your desk at work or sitting in front of the TV at home thinking that you should be doing something different with your time? You can make a difference and feel good about what you are doing with your time by volunteering. If you enjoy cooking, possibly volunteering at a soup kitchen can help you see the people that eat and enjoy your food. Seeing the changes you make in others’ lives through volunteering can help you feel a greater sense of purpose.

2. Reduces feelings of isolation or loneliness

Isn’t it hard to make friends as an adult? Volunteering can help you meet new people and not feel so lonely. You can meet people with similar interests and values as you. For instance, if you love animals, you can volunteer with your local shelter. Aside from the opportunity to interact with animals, especially if you’ve always wanted a pet but can’t afford or have time for one, this could also be a great way to meet people who love animals too. Spending time with people who enjoy the same things as you can lead to conversations and friendships outside of volunteering.

3. Creates a sense of mastery

Feeling useful and capable is important at all stages of life, especially in our younger years or as we age when we tend to feel less useful. But you can volunteer at any age or ability level. Volunteer in areas in which you feel confident. For example, if you are a retired accountant, it might be a good volunteer match to work with a program that provides tax prep to low income families and seniors. Feeling a sense of accomplishment can increase your overall self-esteem and help you in other areas of your life.

4. Keeps you physically and mentally active

Volunteering can entail many activities—making phone calls, sorting or organizing items, preparing items for pick up, cooking, data entry, and interacting with animals or other people. Often problems will arise and you will need to use your problem solving skills to figure out the best solution. These critical thinking skills are significant throughout our lives, from young children to the elderly.

How many times has your doctor suggested that you be more active, but you find it hard to do activity with little purpose? Many volunteering activities will also require you to get up and move. Volunteering with children, for example, will guarantee you movement and make increasing your activity feel more useful and fun.

5. Brings hope and helps you make a difference

There are so many large world problems that we wish we could solve, but are too overwhelming or seem unfixable. Poverty, for example, is such a complex problem we couldn’t possibly fix it on our own or right away. However, providing food assistance through a food pantry can ensure that a family living in poverty will be fed today. Though we can’t solve the world’s problems easily or by ourselves, we can at least each make a small, positive difference in someone’s life and bring hope by making a small step towards fixing a larger problem.

Interested in volunteering? Become a JFS volunteer! Several types of opportunities are available, including in the food pantry and office assistance. To sign up, contact Cherryl Faye, Volunteer Coordinator, at 407-644-7593 ext. 239 or

Want some more wellness advice? JFS Orlando’s licensed counselors are specialized in various areas and are here to support you in anything, from a major life transition to routine day-to-day life. Medicare, Medicaid and almost all commercial insurances are accepted. Call 407-644-7671 or email to schedule an appointment today!

Author: Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW
Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW is the Clinical Therapist Supervisor and a licensed clinical social worker at JFS Orlando. Ashlyn has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community based mental health, inpatient/admission psychiatric hospital, substance abuse/DUI, dialysis/medical, and in home/office outpatient therapy.

The George & Madeline Wolly Center

JFS Orlando re-dedicates building “The George & Madeline Wolly Center” at A Brunch for Madeline

On Sunday, March 31, 2019, JFS Orlando hosted A Brunch for Madeline. This was a special event held in honor of the late Madeline Wolly and all of her love and support of JFS over the years.

George and Madeline Wolly, long-time supporters and great friends of JFS, worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate in the community. They began their Jewish communal work in 1985 when they both joined the JFS Board of Directors. George served as Board President from 1987 – 1989 and Madeline from 1996 – 1998. For many years, they raised funds and awareness for their beloved JFS so that the most vulnerable in the community could be helped.

To recognize their efforts, the JFS building was named in honor of the late George Wolly in 2001. When Madeline passed away last year, it only seemed fitting to add her name alongside her husband’s. Included in A Brunch for Madeline was a re-dedication of the JFS building as “The George & Madeline Wolly Center”.

“Sometimes affectionately called ‘Mrs. JFS’, Madeline was the epitome of what JFS Orlando stands for,” said Executive Director, Mike McKee. “Madeline loved JFS for a reason and it’s not hard to see why. This humble building on Lee Road makes the world a better place.”

More than 10,000 individuals are positively impacted annually by the programs and services they receive at JFS. In 2018, the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry provided food for more than 68,000 meals, the Counseling, Growth and Development Program provided nearly 2,400 counseling sessions, and the Reliable Independent Drivers for the Elderly (RIDE) program transported elderly and disabled adults to more than 600 doctor’s appointments.

JFS is proud to name its building after the Wollys and to continue the legacy of this remarkable couple by serving those in need in the Central Florida community.