Struggling families need our help for the holidays more than ever


For more than five years, Jewish Collaborative Services’ Kesher program, in collaboration with a small group of generous donors from a Providence synagogue, have partnered to help support struggling families with young children during the holiday season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 holiday season was an especially challenging one, as many parents and caregivers were furloughed or lost their jobs. Last year, JCS’ Kesher program supported 50 children from more than 20 families that were struggling with financial hardship. 

Sadly, 2021 has continued to hit many families hard, with additional financial struggles related to reduced incomes.  As a result, the Kesher program is reaching out to the community for increased donations so it can help more families in need.

If you are financially able, please consider donating to this initiative, either in the form of gift cards or a check, or by spreading the word. Your gift will help to reduce burdens and worry in both the Jewish community and in the community-at-large during yet another difficult holiday season.

Below are a few messages of appreciation sent to JCS by volunteers and families, which reinforce how this simple gesture builds feelings of connection and shows, even from a distance, that someone cares. (Identifying information has been removed to help maintain the privacy and dignity of the recipients.)

“I drove the gift cards to my client.  She was overjoyed, in tears, and, despite being across a closed car window with masks on, she could not stop telling me how much of a difference the cards will make for the holidays. Thank you for making this happen!!”

“I recently started a new job, and our situation is slowly starting to improve. I can’t thank you enough for your help around the holidays over the past few years. I sincerely hope that next year we will be on the other side of this and able to pay it forward and help other families who might be struggling. Thank you so much.”

“I have two daughters and am so thankful and appreciative of the gift cards. I just want to say God bless and happy holidays.”

To make a donation, mail a check (write Holiday Initiative in the memo line) or gift card(s) to: JCS, 1165 N. Main St., Providence, RI 02904, or donate online at (when prompted  to “Designate a Program,”  select The Kesher Program and then select Holiday Initiative). You may also contact Tara Watkins at 401-527-7772 or by email at

Submitted by Jewish Collaborative Services