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Thanking Our Front Line Helpers

Posted by JCC Pittsburgh on October 13, 2020

Who’s on the front line? Thanking our JCC front line workers.

Many thanks, Faith!

Though they were already hard at work making bagels and pastries for Pigeon Bagels, when Faith Hayes heard the AgeWell at the JCC Meals to Go program needed volunteers, they jumped at the opportunity. Since July, Faith has been volunteering weekly to help package meals for distribution to seniors in the community. “I value the unique lunch program that the JCC provides and I enjoy helping in a direct way,” they say, “I’ve appreciated being able to build positive action into my week.” After more than three months, Faith will be taking a break from volunteering to focus on their work at Pigeon Bagels, but they say the memories will stay with them. “My favorite memories would have to be when the kitchen manager Aderet brings in her baked goods for all of us. Everyone is so warm and friendly there, the atmosphere is just really nice to walk into.”

Many thanks, Andrew!

“We have a great community at the JCC, says Andrew Normolle, Customer Service Representative, who notes that he will have been at the JCC for four years as of this week. But the conditions, and thus, his job, certainly changed when the JCC reopened in a modified way in June. Now, his greeting of members at the Squirrel Hill Centerfit entrance includes asking each person health screening questions and taking their temperature. He also helps people sign up for programs and for lap swim times, and takes phone queries. The work “is challenging,” he says, “but it is a challenge worthy of facing with enthusiasm.” And there’s satisfaction for a job well done. He’s glad that he “can help provide the ability for people to be together in a safe way, to help operate such a central part of the community.”

Many thanks, Brian!

Brian McElwain, JCC Security Coordinating Officer, took on a new, vital role during the Covid19 pandemic – helping deliver meals to seniors. Twice a week since May, Brian with a volunteer loads bags of hot and cold meals for as many as 65 participants into thermal chests and fits the chests onto the Elder Express bus. As the bus makes about 45 stops all around Squirrel Hill, Brian drops off meals at the doors of private homes and apartment buildings. Brian, who has been full time at the JCC for 10 years, knows many of the participants from pre-Covid 19 days, when they would come to the JCC’s J Cafe for hot kosher lunches. Since the lunch program has been moved to pick-ups and deliveries, Brian enjoys seeing the participants. “I see a lot of old friends,” he says. “The check-ins that are built into the whole delivery process – it’s reassuring for them to see us, and for us to see them. It’s nice to be a part of it.”

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