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One possible result of a demographic study is the discovery that we have a large number of what I have called “orphaned seniors:” members of our community whose children live outside of St. Louis and thus who do not benefit from the informal social support that in-town family provide. The unexpected “drop by” by an adult child on the way home from work; the routine Shabbat and holiday gathering; even the impromptu invitation to join grandchildren for the afternoon. These social support needs are as real and tangible for any senior regardless of financial means.

Federation is proud to continue its support of an array of programs that recognize the centrality of this social support to the maintenance of high quality of life and contentment. Our St. Louis’s Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) serves over 300 seniors living in a 3 mile radius near the I.E.Millstone Campus aiming at keeping them living in their own homes as long as possible. Our NORC, directed by Karen Berry-Elbert was a recent recipient of a $300,000 state grant recognizing its strength and success. Based on its success the State of Missouri has decided to use our model, and our expertise, to support other naturally occurring communities in the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. Federation supports an array of services to seniors through a range of allocations to our beneficiary agencies including Covenant House/C.H.A.I. Subsidized apartment facility, the Jewish Community Center, and Jewish Family and Children Services, in addition to subsidizing meal programs at the Crown Center for Seniors in University City, all of which are open to all seniors.

Your support of Federation again provides a way to care for our own, even as we serve the broader community: “to Jews as Jews and as Jews to all.”