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Jewish Community Services (JCS) of South Florida has launched a community-wide virtual shopping marketplace in efforts to provide seniors with much needed health and safety items that assist them with their everyday chores and challenges.

JCS is using the online donations made at the marketplace to purchase and deliver items to seniors living in Miami-Dade County. These items include eye glasses, grab bars for bathroom safety, medical appointment transportation, two hours of personal care, nonslip bathtub step, two hours of home making, adult diapers, nutritional drink and lightweight walker with seat.

The online marketplace is run by JCS Alliance, the organization’s young professionals’ group. It is co-chaired by Danit Ashkenazi, Laura Raiffe and Rachel Schapiro as well as JCS professional staff member Marian Mendelsohn. Visit to view marketplace. All virtual purchases are 100 percent tax-deductible donation. The marketplace runs through Aug. 15.

Raiffe, who is also a former co-chair for JCS Alliance, said “The young professionals have really taken the lead to help the elderly.”

“We know that people understand how eye glasses, transportation, a medical appointment, a walker or a few hours of personal care provide home bound or low income seniors with much needed health and safety that really assists them with their day to day lives and independent living, so the JCS Alliance wanted to come up with a creative way to help people connect with these seniors in need and create donations that really benefit the things that they’re very much in need of,” Raiffe said in explaining the reasons for launching the marketplace.

Raiffe continued: “We’re a young professionals group and young professionals are very tech savvy, so we figured that coming up with something that was similar to an online shopping experience might be a great way to connect with them and I’m pleased to say that in just 15 days [since the marketplace launched] we’ve had donations by 60 donors and we’ve raised $14,380.”

The group’s goal is to raise $18,000 and The First Fruits Fund has already pledged a match for every dollar raised up to $9,000.

Mendelsohn, who is JCS’ director of special projects, noted in an email: “The JCS Alliance Market Place is a great way to connect the donation to the benefit it brings. People go shopping and enjoy the tangible approach of bringing a smile to a senior’s face with any of the items on the #GivingMarketPlace.”