JCC+MKE 2 min read

Building Together

By JCC Milwaukee August 4, 2020

How our community united for a reimagined KidShare 2020

When COVID-19 shut down large gatherings, the JCC’s annual KidShare event seemed destined to be one of its casualties. Add to that the collective crush to the restaurant industry—well, what would KidShare be without its small plates, its doughnut holes, its lamb chops?!

Making a surprisingly refreshing lemonade out of lemons, JCC staff and lay leaders got creative to successfully reinvent KidShare 2020 as an online experience, finding a juncture between live and recorded content that felt like a true interactive event for the hundreds of viewers that participated. The evening of May 7, 2020 was filled with laughter, heart, and generosity.

Using video story-telling from program directors and participants, we celebrated the array of JCC programming that benefits our community’s children: Gan Ami Early Childhood Education, Kids Center before- and after-school program, the Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp, the Steve & Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken JCC, and the STARS program for children with special needs. Donors used Smart Phones, iPads and laptops to bid on silent auction items and donate to those programs they cared about most.

KidShare 2020 also became an opportunity to thank the JCC’s loyal, local restaurant partners, promoting them widely and encouraging our community to carry out food on May 7 from the restaurants that have been major supporters of—and a main attraction at—KidShare over many years. Participating families shared photos of their take-out, their table-settings, and their KidShare fashion, making everyone feel a little closer to the Grand Ballroom of the Pfister Hotel.

The event was a night to remember, especially for the ways in which the community participated with creativity, grace, and generous support. Thanks to a caring community, JCC youth programs received much needed funds, and families received needed scholarships—so that everyone can benefit from quality early childhood education, before- and after-school care, day and overnight camping, and programs for children and adults with special needs.