Bill Finkelstein and his wife, Lois, began coming to Jewish Family Service (JFS) in 2001 when their granddaughter came to live with them. They were from New York and did not know where to turn. The trio came into JFS weekly for help. Then in 2002, Lois passed away suddenly leaving Bill alone to raise his granddaughter alone.
Finkelstein was on disability but he wanted to fill his time. He chose to volunteer so he could help other people. Because of his relationship with JFS, that is where he chose to serve. He presented himself to the Our Client as a Volunteer Program and served others while also raising his own self-esteem.
Finkelstein started delivering meals to the homebound through the Kosher Home Delivered Meal Program. Most of the volunteers that work with this program deliver once a month, but that was not enough for him. Finkelstein asked to be given as many days as the agency needed help, and he was there each time.
He also began to volunteer with the “Mitzvah in Motion” program, which is a transportation service. He takes people to doctor’s appointments, to run errands, to go to the grocery store and to take care of other personal businesses. In addition to this, he helps to do odd jobs around people’s homes.
This past summer, Finkelstein also decided to serve with the Jewish Community Center’s day camp. His duties there were a handyman, children’s escort and whatever else was needed. He also donated his time to Temple B’nai B’rith. There he cooked for the kiddish, ran errands and set up for services. Finkelstein also worked with the United Hebrew Institute where he has been given the task of clipping newspaper items about the school. He has now been given the title of “Historian.”
Finkelstein fills his days with hours of service for others. He recently decided he will also paint the fence at the cemetery where his wife is buried in his spare time, and he is still asking his famous question, “What can I do for you today?”