The Blue Card is a national organization that provides financial assistance to low-income Holocaust survivors for dental care, home health and other services. Clients are referred to Blue Card by social service agencies such as Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS). Recently, Jewish Federation of St. Louis was notified that Blue Card funding for dental services was being indefinitely delayed due to issues with the originating funding stream.
Poor oral health has also been linked to numerous chronic conditions, including diabetes, respiratory illnesses and heart disease. Holocaust survivors are particularly at risk because many experienced prolonged nutritional deprivation and received little or no dental care throughout their childhoods, compromising their lifelong oral health. Therefore, the JF&CS clients who depend on Blue Card funding might suffer serious consequences if they were unable to access care.
After discussion with JF&CS staff, Jewish Federation of St. Louis approved a $10,000 allocation from two restricted endowment funds. Combined with JF&CS endowments held by the Federation, this funding will help seven low-income Holocaust survivors receive the dental care that they urgently need. Lori Goldberg, Manager of Senior Services and Adults with Special Needs at JF&CS, wrote to thank the Federation for its advocacy on behalf of their clients. “It is so reassuring and comforting to know that our St. Louis Jewish Federation is there when a critical need is identified. I am very proud to work in such a caring community.”