Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:00
For many couples, adoption can be a long and difficult process, including costly trips to foreign destinations, often with no guarantee of success.
One Florida-based operation, Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options (JAFCO), is trying to make that easier, offering interested couples a chance to adopt without leaving the country. Recently JAFCO took a step forward in helping to bring their services to the New York City area. Last summer, they held their fourth annual Long Island fundraising day at the Glen Head Country Club. The successful event attracted 140 people and according to organizers, raised $20,000. “It was a beautiful evening,” said Rana Bell, JAFCO director of Northeast development.
The evening featured a talk by an adoptive mother who shared happy stories with the attendees, giving further impetus to the event and its purpose. “It was inspirational,” Ms. Bell added.
JAFCO is based in Sunrise, FL, but it seeks to expand not only to New York, but also to the Philadelphia area. JAFCO currently serves abused and neglected Jewish children through its Family Preservation, Foster Care and Adoption, and
Mentoring programs. Its Children’s Village includes group homes and an emergency shelter.
A local resident who has been instrumental in bringing JAFCO’s message has been Pearl Halegua of Old Westbury. A retired teacher, Halegua’s work with JAFCO merely continues her dedication to helping youngsters in need. For the Glen
Head event, she was assisted by Roslyn area residents Deborah Agulnick, Laurie Drucker, Kim Floam, Alexis Kaminoff, Amy Levy, Susan Lipper, Linda Moskowitz, Ronna Niederman, Rose Schecter, Stacey Spitalnick, Susan Tashlik and Dorine Wulwick.
In Florida, JAFCO is set to expand its Sunrise facilities to a $12 million center designed to offer services for developmental disabilities. That facility may serve up to 500 families. Opening a development in Nassau County would be a dream of
Pearl Halegua and other dedicated volunteers in the Roslyn area and the successful fundraiser in Glen Head may just help make that a reality.