Volunteerism, customized

TOV’s Concierge Service creates one-of-a-kind experiences

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Roberta and Harvey Teitelbaum calling bingo at Park Plaza.

Looking for a way to make a difference, but need that way to be--made different? No matter how particular your needs, TOV's Volunteer Concierge service can help make it happen.

JUF TOV Volunteer Network, launched in 1997, connects potential volunteers with organizations that need an assist. Over time, it became clear that some would-be volunteers had special requests and requirements.  In 2015, TOV added its Volunteer Concierge service to customize such opportunities, ensuring that everyone has the chance to pitch in. 

"We provide customized event planning for lifecycle events, schools, synagogues, businesses, you name it," said Sarah Trowbridge, TOV's director. "The service can customize a volunteer experience based on a certain date, theme, or purpose."

For instance, Roberta and Harvey Teitelbaum, both in their 90s, regularly rely on this service to coordinate projects on the days of their son's birth and his death. TOV takes care of all the planning, ensuring the Teitelbaums can enjoy giving back while honoring their son. Over the years, they have packed meals for the homeless, collected items for parents in need, and led Bingo games at senior homes.

Recently, there has been an uptick in groups requesting curated volunteer events, from schools to corporate groups and everything in between. "After the pandemic, people are looking for hands-on, meaningful activities," noted Marissa Comin, JUF Associate Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement. 

For one bar mitzvah, the family staged a volunteer open house through an organization called Gratitude Generation. Over the course of a day, 150 guests and their friends were able to choose from among a half-dozen volunteer projects. Inspired, the family and organization are planning to bring the event back this year.

"People come to us when they are looking for something that doesn't exist," Comin said. "But whatever vision they have, we can make it a reality."

To request a customized volunteer experience, visit juf.org/concierge .

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