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How We Make a Difference - June 2005

At 79 years old, Deolinda remembers better times.  *Deolinda and her husband Alberto have been struggling since Argentina’s financial crisis hit their native homeland in late 2001.  While the two once worked and had savings, that money was wiped out when the crisis hit and the value of the peso plummeted.  Soon after both their adult children lost their jobs.  The couple was left with precious little, depending on their meager pensions for food and ultimately, having to choose between eating and paying the electricity bill.

Reluctant to ask for help, Deolinda and Alberto lived like this for a while, before they finally were forced to contact their local Jewish Community Center.  The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), one of Federation’s overseas beneficiaries, learned of Deolinda’s and Alberto’s plight and enrolled the family in its food aid program; JDC also provides necessary prescription medicine for Deolinda.  Through JDC’s Bayit Housing program, the family receives help in paying their apartment bills.

Deolinda and Alberto are so thankful to JDC for the assistance they are getting, which helped them back on their feet at a time when things were looking desperate.  Still, she worries.  “I’m too old to have a future,” she says, “But I can’t stop thinking about my daughter and about my grandchildren.”  Luckily, JDC, with the help of Federation, is there for the duration with a massive influx of aid; hopefully that will soon allow the Jewish community in Argentina to once again thrive.

*not their real names

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