In 2006, Sue Wieland and her husband John made a $1 million gift to the Foundation. That generosity continues to be honored with the annual Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award. The award is a special grant of $10,000 given annually to one of our grantee partner organizations. The selected organization demonstrates outstanding ability to make significant change in the lives of women and girls through their ongoing work and by using an example of one individual that the organization sees as a shining example of their program.
Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) is a nonsectarian health, human and social services agency providing services in the Atlanta area for more than 100 years. The agency’s mission is to “make hope and opportunity happen.” People come to JF&CS knowing the organization will do its best to help them or to point them in the right direction. Their wide range of programs and services include client-centered, outcome-focused programing for all populations regardless of religion, age, race, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. JF&CS is guided by two overarching priorities – improved quality of life and increased self-sufficiency.
by Mildred “MiMi” Mondesir
I can recall when I first met Ms. Donna Coles. I was in dire need of help finding my way back to the workplace, after losing my job as an administrative assistant. I worked almost 8 years when I became very sick.
Despite being prescribed 27 different medications, I couldn’t wear clothes, walk, or sit, because of unbearable pain. I went to the hospital where an infectious disease doctor walked in and with one look and said you have “Bullous Pemphigoid”. When another outbreak occurred, I had to be hospitalized for a week. Unfortunately, despite being a loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee who made a measurable impact, after leaving the hospital, my supervisor informed me that I was terminated.
If it weren’t for being able to move in with family, we would have been totally homeless. But, that didn’t last long at all. I left to stay at a friend’s house where I and my 3 children stayed in one room. In the course of one year, we moved four times. As you can imagine, I was very depressed. All I could think about were my children. How could I take care of them? My health was gone. I lost my home, job, income, and insurance. My only choice was to apply for Social Security Disability given my health issue.
JF&CS provided what many people need; compassion, understanding, respect, communication and genuine help! A hand was given and I took it. People are not aware of what’s out there until they are faced with unforeseen circumstances and have no idea where to go and who to turn to. You will never understand what it means to have the help such as this available. I wish there were more organizations like this. It gave me a sense of hope!
Positive changes that have happened in my life, and that I pray continue, are that I am working now with Georgia Department of Veteran Services. I am planning to move into a new home with my children with the intentions to buy.
*Edited for length.