Local volunteers honored by JFSA
Jewish Family Services of Cleveland (JFSA) recently honored three of its more than 150 volunteers.
Basya Gluzman, Scott Erickson and Melanie Young all received Volunteer of the Year award at JFSA’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on May 5 at the Beachwood Community Center.
“These are three extraordinary volunteers,” said Sandy Lusher-Waterhouse, manager of volunteer services for JFSA.
Cleveland Heights resident Basya Gluzman is a Holocaust survivor who emigrated from Ukraine in 1991. She was honored with the Lois Zaas Award for her contributions to JFSA’s Older Adult Services programs. Gluzman teaches English as a second language. She is passionate about her work. Her career began in the public schools of Ukraine and continues with her English as a second langue classes at JFSA.
Scott Erickson, also a Cleveland Heights resident, received the Kim Chapman Award, which recognizes the volunteer contributions of young adults. Twice a week Erickson volunteers with the lunch and challah delivery program. Erickson’s contributions go beyond just delivering the food. He bakes cookies and muffins to sell along with lunch and participates in many other volunteer projects through JFSA.
Melanie Young, a University Heights resident, received the PLAN (Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Northeast Ohio) Volunteer of the Year Award. She volunteers as a recreational therapy assistant leading exercise and wellness groups and music appreciation programs. Her leadership came at a crucial time when budget cuts forced the elimination of these programs. Young stepped in to continue leading these programs for PLAN members every week.
Lusher-Waterhouse describes these volunteers, and all others, as the heart of JFSA. “They are the bridge from the organization to the clients in the community,” she said.
Camille Davis is a senior journalism major at Ohio University and a summer intern for the Heights Observer.