The Blue Card available to assist older Holocaust survivors; JFS makes local connection
- Parent Category: News
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- Published: Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:00
- Written by KCJC
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Every year, the number of Holocaust survivors continues to dwindle. Statistics indicate that of the 75,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, about one-third live below poverty level. While the number of survivors still living declines, their needs for financial assistance increase. Many face transportation and mobility issues as well as medical problems.
Some are hesitant to seek help while others don’t know where to turn — but there is help for these survivors to live out their golden years with dignity and comfort, thanks to The Blue Card Fund, a nonprofit organization working locally with Jewish Family Services.
The Blue Card is an organization that provides financial assistance to survivors on a monthly basis as well as for emergencies for medical and dental care. The Blue Card also provides for homecare, rental assistance, special holiday grants as well as health precautionary services that permit survivors to live with dignity in their own homes.
The Blue Card was first established in Germany in 1934 by the local Jewish community to help those who were already affected by Nazi oppressions. In 1939, some of those same members re-established the organization in the United States to help Jews fleeing Europe. With time the mission of the organization was to provide direct financial assistance to the victims of the Holocaust, which it continues to do today through a variety of programs. The Blue Card is the only national organization in the United States whose sole mission is to help needy Holocaust survivors.
There are already Kansas City Holocaust survivors who are benefitting from the benefits The Blue Card has to offer them. Take Regina Dollman. At 85, Regina is now being cared for by her daughter, Lori Dollman, who reached out to Jewish Family Services for help. The Dollmans’ case manager told them about The Blue Card.
“The Blue Card is allowing us to get the support and assistance we need to keep mom in our home — because home is home,” Lori Dollman said. “Mother’s life as a child wasn’t great, so we want the remainder of her life to be full of peace and comfort and people who love her. The Blue Card helps us do that.”
Lori Dollman said JFS helped to guide her through the application process to access The Blue Card for her mother. She encourages others to look into The Blue Card by contacting JFS staff older adult care management program.
“People should not be afraid that these benefits may impact their monthly pension. They don’t,” Dollman said. “People should ask for help!”
“Our Holocaust survivors experienced hardship early in life,” said Laurie Gilman, manager of JFS’ Care Management Team. “Those organizations help smaller agencies like ours ensure that the late stage of life for Holocaust survivors is meaningful.”
“We’ll meet with the survivor and their family and do a needs assessment to figure out what services they need,” Gilman said.
Those eligible for The Blue Card includs anyone displaced by World War II.
“The definition of who is eligible is much wider than many people think, so please contact us if you think you or a loved one may qualify,” Gilman said.