I once read that in order to find your life’s purpose, you should find out what breaks your heart and you should go and make that your life’s work. For me, thinking about children and families who either didn’t have enough to eat or had nowhere to live is what pulled at my heartstrings. Becoming a family therapist allowed me to offer mental health support and community resources to help families get back on their feet so that they could accomplish their own life’s work. Jewish Family Services is such an incredible organization, serving so many local Jewish families, and I’m grateful and honored to make that part of my life’s work and to leave that as my Jewish legacy.
I often think about a world without the Charleston Jewish Federation and Charleston Jewish Family Services and it shakes me to my core. Knowing that we provide a safety net for families and children who feel alone in the world is an incredible feeling, and it is a privilege to work every day to ensure our community is thriving and protected.
I give to the Federation Annual Community Campaign because I believe in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. It is truly a joy to join the rest of the community and ensure that we take care of our seniors, our families, our congregants: our community. This year, my son Emmett is collecting change in his tzedakah box from PJ Library, and when it is filled, he will make a donation to the CJF campaign. I want him to learn that it is his responsibility to care for others, even if he never knows their name. It is never too early to start giving, and every dollar counts.
Thank you for reading my story,
Sara Sharnoff Chesley
Director, Charleston Jewish Family Services