Nearly 80% of United States workers say they live paycheck to paycheck, meaning an illness, higher-than-usual utility bill, or car trouble can be enough to set a responsible person on a precarious path.
Part of Jewish Family Service’s mission is to help individuals and families meet life’s challenges. We have been able to do so in a new and exciting way over the past year, thanks to the Back on Track Fund, which was made possible through the generosity of the Geduldig Family.
The Fund provides emergency financial support for community members teetering on the edge, says Michael Geduldig, who established the fund with his wife, Ellen, last year. “This is designed to help people get over a bump, to provide help to people in need of short-term assistance and enable them to move forward with their lives.”
“It’s always about moving forward,” adds Ellen.
The name of the fund came out of some creative brainstorming that Michael and Ellen recently engaged in. They wanted the name to convey the transformative nature of their Fund. According to Ellen, “Back on Track says exactly what it does. We’re helping people at risk of falling further behind, get on top of their short-term financial needs.
Since its establishment in December of 2017, the Back on Track Fund has helped people throughout the Harrisburg metropolitan region access critical resources. Elaine Strokoff, the JFS Service Coordinator and Development Associate, first assesses the circumstances of people facing acute financial crises and then will either draw on the Fund to help subsidize that particular need and/or assist them in finding more permanent sources of financial support. “The people we help are so grateful to have a helping hand in getting back on track,” says Elaine.
Referrals for the program have come through rabbis, other nonprofit organizations, as well as word-of-mouth. “We’re very pleased with the progress and the way that JFS has assisted the community with these funds,” says Michael. “We hope that the community will support this cause and help to expand this program.”