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The funding includes dollars designated to the ElderLink free community senior information and referral service.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis has allocated $179,475 to Jewish Federation for 2012. This is $12,500 more than last year’s allocation. The $12,500 has been designated for ElderLink St. Louis, a free community senior information and referral service, administered by Jewish Family & Children’s Service. “Continuing to focus on the increasing needs of the growing older adult population in the St. Louis region is a major priority of the United Way,” said Cassandra Kaufman, United Way Vice President, Community Investment.

The generous United Way allocation will be put to good use. Jewish Federation supports some 60 agencies, programs and services in St. Louis and worldwide that build and maintain a thriving and vibrant Jewish community. Many of these services are also available to the public at large.

Kaufman said, “We highly value our partnership with Jewish Federation. United Way continues to commend Federation for supporting the needs of the Jewish community and the larger St. Louis community. It does so through quality programming and services – and implementation of our quality standards in the areas of governance, finance, administration and programming.”

Bob Millstone, Jewish Federation Chair, praised Federation’s relationship with the United Way. “We are truly appreciative of the trust and confidence United Way has shown. We offer our most sincere appreciation for this generous funding and look forward to another year of a rewarding partnership.”

Since its inception in 2009, ElderLink has reached out to more than 5,500 isolated and at-risk seniors. This service is part of Jewish Federation’s commitment to provide a safety net for our most vulnerable seniors.

Lori Goldberg, LCSW, Coordinator of Senior Services, JF&CS, said the funds for ElderLink “will bolster our vital information and referral goldmine. As our senior population — with baby boomers now hitting 65 — continues to surge, the United Way allocation will enable us to help more seniors and their younger caregivers.”

Goldberg gave an example of ElderLink’s importance. “Mrs. Allen (not her real name) called ElderLink. Her husband of 50+ years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was too difficult for her to handle. Mrs. Allen was given information about several home health care resources and an Adult Day Care Program was suggested. Mrs. Allen was resistant, but the Specialist explained the benefits and then called the Day Care to set up a tour. Two weeks later, Mrs. Allen called ElderLink to report that her husband was enrolled, his mood had improved, and she was feeling a sense of relief. She is very grateful to have a resource like ElderLink as she continues to face the challenges of her husband’s illness.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis, a proud member of the United Way, is the Jewish community’s central philanthropic, planning and community-building organization. Founded in 1901, it is one of the region’s most respected and effective nonprofit organizations. Federation is committed to the ongoing development and enhancement of a thriving Jewish community – one that engages both young families with children and young adults, supports Jewish learning, educates and advocates for a strong Israel and safe Jewish world, and provides a safety net for vulnerable Jews.