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Today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, “Night of Broken Glass”

The Blue Card initiates teletherapy program

The Blue Card, a Holocaust survivor-support organization, recently launched a national teletherapy service. It will be open to its members in Greater Phoenix.

“People are isolated and lonely,” said Nadja Atwal, Blue Card’s spokesperson, via email. “It has been all over the news how much the isolation is affecting people everywhere, and we reacted quickly and put a service in place that addresses this time period of disconnect and silence.”

The Blue Card serves 35 states, including Arizona, and the organization offers cash assistance for one-time things like hearing aids and dental or emergency services, as well as ongoing monthly assistance for utilities and housing.

Now it is adding emotional well-being services to help survivors cope with the pandemic.

“Survivors are scared to go to the doctor’s or to get COVID tests,” said Masha Pearl, Blue Card executive director. “Back during the war, illness meant death. It meant they’re no longer able to work.”

Survivors can also face PTSD when they feel trapped in their homes during quarantine.

“To combat that, we are working with a number of providers to help take their fears away,” Pearl said. “It’s important to keep checking in on them, making sure they don’t feel forgotten and let them know it will all get better soon.”

The Blue Card now provides teleconferences with experts in trauma, offered in four languages, through its website, as well as virtual volunteering opportunities. Those interested can record a one-minute tribute to boost survivors’ spirits. Some volunteers sing songs, read passages or get more creative.

More information can be found at BlueCardFund.org/virtual-volunteering.html.

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