Category Archive: Spring Brunch

Cynthia Crouch: Gratitude Speech at Spring Brunch

Meet Cynthia Crouch, Former JFS Orlando Family Stabilization Program Participant. Here is what she had to share about the program and JFS Orlando at the Annual Spring Brunch:

Cynthia Crouch

Cynthia Crouch, Former Family Stabilization Program Participant, is shown here with her husband, James. Cynthia shared her story at the 2016 Annual Spring Brunch.

The Family Stabilization Program catapulted my growth exponentially.
Things felt impossible, I was a single mother experiencing life on my own for the very first time. My self-esteem was destroyed, and I felt inadequate. I didn’t know how to live on my own, balance a check book, and I had little confidence; after all this was the first time in my life that no one was telling me what to do, or how to do it. A persistent voice in my head saying, “your worthless- you’re nothing without me.” “You will never make it on your own.” “You want to leave-go…but not with my children.”
16-years marriage ended. I was broken and I was terrified. I did not know how to support myself and I couldn’t fathom how I would possibly take care of my children. I was struggling, and I went to bed many nights hungry. I found a job as a receptionist working full-time for minimum wage and started attending college classes in the evening. I remember lying in bed at night crying and praying to a God “please help me.”
I would see Jewish Family Services’ staff set up in a vacant office once a week at my place of employment, and that is how I found out about the program. I began to wonder if I qualified for the Family Stabilization Program. One day I went in, humbly and honestly explained my situation and prayers were answered. I qualified for the program! It was so much more than I could have imagined. I didn’t know it then but this assistance would catapult my life, my career, and growth as a mother, and woman exponentially. I became hopeful and began to believe that I worth much more than I gave myself credit for.
I found a small apartment and FSP provided the first month’s rent and utility deposit along with food assistance and budgeting workshops that taught me how to live within my means and helped me establish credit. These workshops are still in use in my life today. I was able to stay in school. I earned my Associate’s degree, went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rollins College, and received my credentials as Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). The encouragement, the hand up, the compassion, the life skills… helped me believe in myself, in my darkest hours.
Presently I a second year graduate student working towards the credentials Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), but more importantly I am a positive role model for my children. I am a strong, compassionate woman. I am a survivor, no longer a victim. Thank you, Jewish Family Services, for empowering me to empower myself. I love who I have become and I love that I get to pay it forward every day in the community through my profession.
Thank all of you who are here today for supporting this agency.

Family Stabilization Program Client Testimonial

“I went to JFS at a very low time in my life. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship 6 months prior and had lost many of my possessions and all of my savings. I had a job but was feeling very hopeless and not sure how to get out of the debt that was starting to pile up after an accident left me with many medical bills.
Working with the people there I was able to setup a plan and goals to start the upward journey. They provided classes for how to do networking, build a resume, and most important for me was on building a budget and how to build good credit.
I was also provided with a one – on – one meeting with a debt consolidation company that looked over my assets and bills. They advised me on possible solutions on how to obtain the goals I wanted to work for.

I was offered support both physically (food pantry / utilities and rent assistance) and mental support (professional counselors) I worked with my case worker, Jascha, who was a great help for me to focus on my next steps on this journey of recovery. He kept me accountable and on track.

I highly recommend this program to all who find themselves in a bad situation and feel lost as to how to get back on track to obtaining their goals in life.” – Client’s name withheld to protect confidentiality 

JFS Orlando Announces 2015 Spring Brunch Fundraising Results

Wolly and Geboff copyJFS Orlando’s Executive Director, Eric Geboff, is pleased to announce that the 2015 JFS Orlando Spring Brunch was a huge success and raised more than $90,000 this year.

The brunch, which took place on May 17 at the Heathrow Country Club, raised a total of $91,000. The money raised will benefit the non-profit organization’s programs. JFS’ Emergency Financial Assistance Program is on target to provide more than $200,000 in emergency rent, mortgage and utility assistance this year, and the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry is anticipating providing nearly 76,000 meals to hungry Central Floridians.

Madeline Wolly was honored with the George Wolly Community Leadership Award. Madeline is one of the longest and most active serving board members at JFS Orlando and a Past President of the Board of Directors. Her family stood by as the award was presented by JFS Orlando Past President Marty Sherman.

“What a privilege to be able to honor Madeline Wolly and to raise money for our clients who continue to be affected by the changing economy,” said Geboff. “They need our services more than ever. We thank all of those who attended and contributed to the success of the JFS Spring Brunch.”

Madeline Wolly to be honored at Spring Brunch

Mwolly2On Sunday, May 17, 2015, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando (JFS Orlando) will honor long-time supporter, Madeline Wolly with the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at 11AM at the Heathrow Country Club, located at 1200 Bridgewater Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746. The George Wolly Community Leadership Award is an annual award named after her late husband, George Wolly, who volunteered and served on the board for 20 years.

As a Past President of JFS Orlando, Madeline has given voluntary leadership since 1985 to almost every committee and program. In the past, she raised funds and awareness for her beloved JFS Orlando that cares for the most vulnerable children, adults and families in the community, regardless of race, religion or heritage.
A community wide leader, Madeline was involved with the Senior Les Grandes Dames Tennis tournaments, American Heart Association, March of Dimes, was a docent at the Orlando Science Center, Jewish Mosaics, National Conference of Christians and Jews (now known as the National Conference for Community and Justice), and many more. She lives at Village on the Green and is active on two resident committees.

Please join us on May 17, 2015 to help us honor Madeline for her years of service and in support of the efforts of JFS Orlando. Tickets for the event are $175 and can be purchased at For more information about the event contact Amanda Benedit at or 407.644.7593 .227.