The Columbus Jewish Foundation understands that community members (residents of Franklin County and contiguous counties) often do not seek help from within the Jewish community when they face needs such as hunger, loss of housing, unemployment, illness, financial crises, and the like. Perhaps it is because they do not know where to go. Or perhaps it is because of the perceived stigma of seeking help. For these reasons, some will seek assistance outside of the Jewish community. And it is not uncommon that those applying for public assistance find themselves in a “time gap” before services are approved.
The Foundation’s Sonia and Saul Schottenstein SCRIP Program offers local Jewish community members immediate financial assistance in the form of a Kroger gift card to be used for food, medicine and/or gasoline. It is funded by the Saul Schottenstein Foundation A, the Jewish Needs Endowment Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, and donations from community members. Since SCRIP began in 2005, more than $204,000 has been distributed as a result of more than 2,000 confidential conversations between recipients and SCRIP providers. Through the generosity of SCRIP donors, the Foundation provided a Kroger gift card this year to 235 individuals to help ease the cost of having a Kosher Pesach.
The Foundation’s SCRIP Program was conceived in 2004 to help individuals or families with one-time emergency financial needs, and to provide referrals to organizations that could assist them. Local Jewish community members can receive immediate financial assistance in the form of a Kroger gift card where they can purchase food, medicine, gasoline, therefore enabling them to free up other dollars to address emergency needs (home repairs, increased bills, hospitalization, etc.). The Jewish Needs Committee recognizes that when an individual’s or family’s needs are chronic in nature, a one-time SCRIP distribution will not be nearly enough to help this person/family achieve stability. In such situations, additional SCRIP may be made available.
Individuals or families seeking assistance are encouraged to reach out to the Foundation’s SCRIP Program Partners: Jewish Family Services, the JCC (Member Services Director), the Community Chaplain, Rosh Kollel, and the rabbis of Agudas Achim, Ahavas Sholom, Beth Jacob, Beth Shalom, Beth Tikvah, Temple Israel, Tifereth Israel and Torat Emet It is hoped that other resources will continue to be explored and, more importantly, that the individual’s or family’s situation will take a turn for the better during this time frame. SCRIP is not meant to be a free for all, nor a new ongoing income source, but to help local Jewish community members move forward.
If you would like to support the SCRIP Program, please contact the Columbus Jewish Foundation at 614-338-2365.