— by John O. Mason
JRA Director Amy Krulik describes JRAid as
A brand new program…launched on September 18, 2011. The goal of the program is for our JRA volunteers to provide additional assistance and support to people in the community. It’s a way to go beyond just providing food support, but to help people with everyday tasks, (such as) changing light bulbs, doing minor home repairs, providing rides to the doctor, (making) friendly phone calls or friendly visits to home bound seniors, really trying to fill in the pieces, primarily for people who don’t have family or support networks in the area.
More after the jump.
The cool thing about JRAid is that it’s an online marketplace (for volunteers). As a volunteer, you register as a volunteer with JRAid, you tell us what you’re interested in doing, when and where you’re available to do it, and you sit back and wait for the system to come to you. You don’t have to search through endless lists of volunteer opportunities, our system does all the work for you. When a volunteer opportunity that matches your preference comes into the hopper, we send you an e-mail or a phone call, ‘It’s a match,’ and you can see whether or not you’re available to take advantage of the volunteer opportunity.
JRAid has on its list a number of families, adds Krulik, who have been struggling financially;
We’ve worked with a few organizations, and directly with some families, for us to get volunteers, and we’ve mostly brought gifts for the holidays for those families, (such as) winter coats, hats and gloves and pajamas, games and DVDs, things to help the families be able to celebrate the holidays in a meaningful way with each other.
Krulik says that JRAid also has a “snow patrol,” meaning, “There are people who are psyched up to go out to somebody’s house and help them clear their sidewalks and steps.”