The Blue Card, Inc.

aka The Blue Card   |   New York, NY   |  www.bluecardfund.org

Mission

Established in Germany, in 1934, The Blue Card's sole purpose was to provide financial assistance to Jews fleeing from that country's growing persecution. It was re-established in the United States in 1939, to continue aiding refugees escaping from the Nazi horror. Today, it is the only organization in the United States whose sole mission is to aid needy Holocaust survivors by providing cash stipends.

Ruling year info

1944

Executive Director

Ms. Masha Pearl

Main address

171 Madison Ave Suite 1405

New York, NY 10016 USA

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EIN

13-1623910

NTEE code info

Unknown (Z99)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Presently, The Blue Card serves over 3,000 needy Holocaust survivor households in 35 states. Their problems are well documented with poor health and isolation topping the list. Many have either outlived their children, if they had them, or their children live too far away to care for them properly. The survivors we serve range in age from 77 to 105: • 79% are women • 70% live alone • 69% cannot leave their homes without assistance • 83% have difficulty performing daily activities such as dressing, washing and cooking These statistics would be troubling, but they are tragic for those we serve. As the economy roughens it grinds down on elderly Holocaust survivors, who already live on the edge of independence relaying solely on their fixed incomes. Each month, The Blue Card receives a seemingly endless supply of new referrals that constantly increases our caseload and forces us to have to turn down many requests.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Blue Card

The Blue Card provides direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors in the United States. Presently, we are assisting over 3,000 Holocaust survivor households in 35 states. Many of these survivors struggle to afford basic needs, such as adequate food, shelter and healthcare; more than half of them fall 200% below the federal poverty line, meaning their income is less than $23,540 annually.

A large segment of this population has no family to depend on for any level of assistance, either financial or emotional.

Description of The Blue Card’s Programs
1. Claims Conference Emergency Cash Assistance Program – One time grant assistance for emergency needs including:
Housing and related costs, such as late payments to prevent eviction or homelessness or shut-off of utilities
Emergency Relocation;
Food purchases;
Medical and dental care, including medical equipment, not otherwise covered by insurance;
Essential clothing and footwear;
Purchase and repair of essential major and minor appliances;

2. Emergency Prevention Programs:
*Monthly Stipend - supports the most poverty-stricken survivors with monthly checks.

*Telephone Emergency Response System - provides the system to Holocaust survivors who do not have the financial resources to pay for installation, service, and maintenance.

3. Health and Wellbeing Programs:

*Fighting Cancer Together - offers aid to survivors battling cancer. Assistance is available for transportation to appointments, medical co-pays, nutrition and emotional support.

*Vitamins - provides survivors with multivitamins, minerals, and supplements, and liquid meals.

*Jewish Holiday - provides financial support for the High Holidays, Hanukkah and for Passover, giving survivors the financial means to have a happier holiday season.

*Mazel Tov Birthday - provides survivors with a card on their birthday. Receiving a birthday card means a great deal to survivors who lost their entire families during the war.

*Summer Vacation - Survivors are provided with handicapped-accessible accommodations, transportation, scheduled meals, and a well-planned itinerary, making the program structured, safe, and group-oriented.

*Bring a Smile - provides additional support for terminally ill Holocaust survivors. The program essentially grants survivors their final wish.

4. Educational and Outreach Programs:
*Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed Training for Dental and Medical professionals working with Holocaust survivors – provides sensitivity training to medical and dental profession working with Holocaust survivors.

*Nutrition Guidance - Educates Survivors on proper nutrition.

*Hospital Visitation - offers volunteer visits to hospitalized Holocaust survivors who need guidance and emotional support.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Holocaust survivors live with a deeply ingrained and severe fear of institutionalization, a haunting remnant of their experiences during the Nazi regime. Holocaust survivors, now in their late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and some even over the age of 100 are rapidly aging, become homebound and depending increasingly on outside help.

What is even more alarming is that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older-adult dies from a fall. More than a quarter of individuals age 65 and older fall each year, and falling once doubles their chances of falling again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fall that may be run-of-the-mill for a young person but can be very dangerous for the elderly. A frequent aftermath when older people fall is a heightened fear of falling, prompting them to limit their activities and cause further physical decline, depression and social isolation, which in turn can hasten death.
One fall in five among older adults results in a serious injury, and older people are less able to recover from the trauma physically and emotionally.

Our lifesaving programs are designed to keep survivors in their homes for as long as possible.
Our overarching goal is aimed to ensure that aging Holocaust survivors are safe in their homes and not at risk of being institutionalized. We have therefore designed core programs aimed at ensuring that needy Holocaust survivors remain in their homes for as long as possible.

To deliver these programs and services, The Blue Card works with a network of approximately 172 social service agencies and Jewish organizations nationwide who refer and help vet clients. The Blue Card’s staff work with referring agencies to verify the status of individuals seeking aid from the organization and clients’ statuses are regularly reviewed. We collect feedback from referral agencies and clients to evaluate programs and identify new needs.

The Blue Card is a trusted agency with a strong service and operational performance history. In April of 2019, The Blue Card received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. We are recognized with the Best in America Seal of Excellence from The Independent Charities of America. Furthermore, we are certified by the Better Business Bureau as having met all BBB standards and have been awarded the BBB Charitable Giving Alliance Seal and was named as one of the best Jewish charities since 2012.

As an organization with longstanding programs, we are properly equipped to provide much needed assistance to needy Holocaust survivors. Our executive staff comprised of an executive director and an associate executive director have been with the organization for over a decade and nearly nine years, respectably, and are guided by the Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors, some are children or grandchildren of the original founders of the organization have led the organization’s efforts since the organization’s inception over 80 years ago.

Our nationwide impact and the lives we continue to touch each day speak for itself. We are proud of the work that we do in proud partnership with some of our biggest supporters.

The Blue Card was established by the Jewish community in Germany in 1934, to help Jews already being affected by Nazi restrictions through loss of jobs, forcibly closed businesses and other forms of oppression. The Blue Card was later reestablished in the United States to continue aiding refugees of Nazi persecution resettling in America. After the Holocaust, the mission of the organization was expanded to help survivors of the Shoah from all European countries. The Blue Card continues its work in the United States to this day and presently, we are the only organization of its kind providing urgent, life-saving assistance to Holocaust survivors.
We have come a very long way from our humble, German roots that started as a community effort and today, is a national organization dedicated to helping over 3,000 Holocaust survivors in 35 states.
These lifesaving programs were carefully designed over the years to assist our survivors to make sure all gaps of need are filled. We are constantly evolving and educating ourselves on all matters pertaining the elderly community to best serve our survivors.
As today's technology is advancing and is serving the elderly population, we are pleased to announce the following, The Blue Card Tech Friendly Aging Programs, which we established in 2020:
1. LIFTWARE Utensils - Liftware is an electronic stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments that include a soup spoon, everyday spoon, fork, and spork. Liftware Steady is designed to help people with hand tremor, which may be related to Parkinson's disease or essential tremor, eat more easily. Holocaust survivors suffering with Parkinson’s Disease and other debilitating illnesses benefit tremendously from this special stabilizing unit.
2. Mood Restore Light Box - Intelligent Light Therapy - A special, compact and portable, UV free unit provides much needed light therapy to Holocaust survivors. In addition to effectively treating Season Affective Disorders (SAD), the Mood Restore Light Box, improves visual clarity and color rendering, as well as offset season weather and climate changes, and helps support the circadian rhythm regulation. This light box works wonders for thousands of our lonely survivors especially those who are shut-ins and are home-bound during the colder winter days.
3. Companion Pets - Companion pets bring comfort and happiness to the older population with interactive, cats and dogs that replicate the look, sounds and feel of real pets. Many studies have found that these pets have the ability to enhance one’s well-being and quality of life through companionship.
4. Uniper Cares Combating Social Isolation Program - We are pleased to announce that The Blue Card will strengthen its relationship with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA) by working together on a groundbreaking project which will utilize technology to address the challenging dynamic of senior isolation. The progr

Financials

The Blue Card, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The Blue Card, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 6/2/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Michael Lissner

David Wrobel

Gia Machlin

Orit Hodarkovsky

Elie Rubinstein

Harriet Abramson

Arie Hochberg

Elinor Heller

Patricia Lenkov

Jonathan Alter

Elizabeth Bergstein

Louis Berkowitz

Sharon Cohen

Ronald Elton

Peggy Heine

Ron Jacobs

Benjamin Jaffe

Linda Meltzer

Zeva Oelbaum

Heidi Rieger

Mark Bilski

PRESIDENTS EMERITI

Leora Kahn

PRESIDENTS EMERITI

Mimi Lieber

PRESIDENTS EMERITI