Jan Feinman, president of Larchmont Friends of the Family, knows that giving to others is a need that lasts all year long. She and approximately 125 volunteers take care of their neighbors year round with meals, financial assistance and more.
We help families who have some ties to the Larchmont community, whether they work, live, go to school, or attend a house of worship here, Feinman said. Larchmont Friends of the Family offer our assistance to them during catastrophic illness or a death in the family.
A volunteer with the organization for over a decade, Feinman took the helm five years ago. She said the families that receive help remain anonymous. When volunteers are making meals they do not know who they are making the meal for, they just know their dietary needs.
Dinner is often the most stressful time of the day, especially when you are dealing with emotional stress, Feinman said. It is a tremendous help to know they can just sit down and a meal is ready. I think it is really important.
When the group learns of a family in need they send an assessment team of volunteers to meet with the family. Just as a neighbor would sit down with another neighbor saying How can I help?, Feinman explained. The team comes up with really personal, creative ways that we can help the family, completely dependent on that familys needs.
Sometimes the volunteers handle what would be considered the basics like laundry and housecleaning. In other instances they provide transportation or childcare management.
Feinman and her husband David have lived in Larchmont for 15 years. They have two sons. Giving is part of her career as well, as she works as a physician assistant.
Feinman said the organization was created by two women who had suffered very severe illnesses and received help from neighbors and friends. It made them realize how meaningful it was, Feinman said. They decided it shouldnt just be for people who have a church or group of friends who immediately provide these services.
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