JSL Senior Life Director Leslie Katz holding donated restaurant gift cards for Project Take-Out. 
JSL Senior Life Director Leslie Katz holding donated restaurant gift cards for Project Take-Out. (FRIENDS of JSL)

Project Take-Out generates much needed business for restaurants who have struggled mightily during the pandemic while enriching the lives of the most vulnerable older adults of the JSL’s communities.

Pick a card, any card. Part of a magic trick? Nope, but it is part of the magic being generated by a wonderful new program by FRIENDS of Jewish Senior Life (JSL) to support both local restaurants and the senior residents who reside on the JSL’s Oak Park and West Bloomfield campuses. The program coincides with April National Volunteer Month.

“Project Take-Out” is the brainchild of FRIENDS of Jewish Senior Life Director Leslie Katz, who was inspired by a story she saw on NBC’s Today Show.

“The program focuses on community supporting community,” Katz says. “We’re asking the community at large to rally together and purchase gift cards or gift certificates from local restaurants, at an amount of their choosing, to donate to our JSL community.”

JSL residents simply need to register within their community to have their names go into a bin to be eligible to win one of the gift cards during a weekly raffle. The lucky entrant for that week gets to pick the restaurant of their choice among the remaining gift cards.

This is truly a win-win situation. Project Take-Out generates much needed business for restaurants who have struggled mightily during the pandemic while enriching the lives of the most vulnerable older adults of the JSL’s communities, the majority of whom have experienced tremendous isolation both physically and emotionally because of COVID restrictions. But wait, there’s more!

While in-restaurant dining is opening more, many of JSL’s independent residents are still favoring carryout. To that end, Katz says that winning gift card holders need not worry about how their winning meal will get to them. “If a resident doesn’t drive or a restaurant doesn’t deliver,” says Katz, “we’re blessed to be able to call upon our army of dedicated FRIENDS of JSL volunteers to ensure a safe door-to-door drop-off.”

Katz also reminds the community that “JSL is home to residents of all faiths and beliefs. So we definitely welcome and encourage gifts cards from restaurants that offer kosher and non-kosher foods.”

Purchased gift cards or certificates can be mailed to JSL, 6710 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, attn: Leslie Katz; or dropped off at the front desk at the same address. For more information or to be a volunteer delivery person for “Project Take-Out,” email Leslie Katz at lkatz@jslmi.org or call (248) 321-1437.