Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Pam Ruben 

Griswold Cares Foundation awards second grant to Jewish Pavilion


Mary Carter Eick, Jewish Pavilion sponsor and director of Griswold Home Care in Seminole and Orange Counties, presents a grant for the Jewish Pavilion's Senior Help Desk to JP Board President Elise Schilowitz.

The Griswold Cares Foundation awarded a second-time grant to the Jewish Pavilion's Senior Help Desk for their efforts in supporting independent living for those in need. The Griswold Cares Foundation is a private charity 501c3 established by Griswold Home Care to further the company's belief that care for the elderly and disabled should be available to all, helping to further the company's collective mission and values and to give back to the communities that they serve. The Pavilion's grant was championed by Griswold Home Care Franchise owner Mary Carter Eick, and her husband and business partner, Herm, who have been Jewish Pavilion sponsors since they opened their Griswold Home Care franchise in Winter Park in 2013, serving clients in Seminole and Orange Counties. The Eicks generously supplemented the Foundation's $1000 Grant with a contribution of their own.

Eick shared that she first came upon the Jewish Pavilion just days after opening the doors of her new business in 2013, as she was "googling" local senior organizations to help familiarize herself with the industry. Soon after that first contact, Eick had a meeting with Jewish Pavilion Executive Director, Nancy Ludin, who encouraged her to get involved with the elder-care community through networking and volunteerism. Eick took the advice to heart and jumped right into opportunities offered by the Jewish Pavilion. Not only did she become a Pavilion sponsor, she also became an active volunteer who regularly visits with seniors and attends holiday celebrations. "Mary Carter and Herm Eick are great assets to the Jewish Pavilion," remarked Nancy Ludin. "They join our committees and help with our functions, spend time with our seniors, and network with and befriend our vendors. It's a win-win when both organizations can learn from each other."

Though Eick is not Jewish, she has become thoroughly versed in the goings on of a Jewish Pavilion Shabbat or Purim Celebration. She shares that she has taken a role in six or seven Purim Plays and has played everyone from Haman, to Esther, the King. She refers to the Purim plays that are put on at each of the 54 facilities served by the Pavilion as "engaging and inviting" to the residents, who take part along with the volunteers. Eick added, "It's amazing to watch the transformation of a resident when the Pavilion enters the room. In just a few minutes blank faces begin to soften and smile, and slack postures become more energized and focused. The entire experience is all about the impact on the seniors."

For Eick, involvement in the senior community is much more than business; it's a way of giving back to a population she truly cares about. Mary Carter shared that both she and Herm left successful careers in corporate America to start a business where they could make relationships with the elderly and their families, allowing them to age in place safely in their own homes. After looking at many business opportunities, the Eicks chose to become franchisees with Griswold Home Care "because it's a family based business delivered with heart". She added, "When a client calls for home care service, not only do they get our home care professionals with 5 years plus experience, they also get access to us, the owner operators who are available 24/7."

As franchise owners, Mary Carter and Herm Eick help support the Griswold Cares Foundation, along with fellow owners/operators around the country. When Mary Carter discovered the Griswold Home Cares grants opportunities, she suggested the Jewish Pavilion apply for funds, with the Senior Help Desk as the recipient. "The Senior Help desk gives advice to older adults in need of assistance and is offered at no cost to the caller. The Help Desk's mission is right in line with the company's belief that care for the elderly and disabled should be available to all," noted Eick. She added, "It is unusual for The Griswold Cares Foundation to make a donation to a non-profit more than once, as they like to spread their funds amongst as many worthy organizations as possible. I was able to let them know at our annual conference how important this organization was to me, as well as the positive impact the Senior Help Desk makes on families of all faiths who are navigating their way through the daunting senior maze. We were all pleased when the Jewish Pavilion and its Help Desk were announced as award-winners in 2014 as well as 2015."

Director Ludin added, "We are so grateful to the Griswold Cares Foundation, and the Eick family for this generous award, which we were so honored to receive for the second time. The funds from the grant will have an immediate impact, and will enable us to increase the hours of operation of the Senior Help Desk, allowing us to meet the needs of more caller per week. With help from our collaborative partners, we can achieve our combined mission of making care and guidance available to those in need."

The Jewish Pavilion-The Jewish connection for elder-care residents. Enhancing lives in senior- living communities through friendly visits, holiday celebrations and engaging programs. Bringing smiles to residents of all faiths. You can personally make a difference. Become a fan www.facebook.com/jewishpavilion or visit http://www.jewishpavilion,org or call 407-678-9363 for volunteer opportunities or to make a donation.

To learn more about Griswold Home Care of Seminole and Orange Counties contact Mary Carter Eick at mc.eick@griswoldhomecare.com or 407-740-7419 or Herm Eick at herm.eick@griswoldhomecare.com.


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