Chai Lighting: Gina Shull
Oprah Winfrey once said, “To move forward, you have to give back,” and that is precisely what Gina Shull exudes on a daily basis. As an in-home health care practitioner, she witnessed the implications of seniors in isolation and its impact on their mental health. With a heart of gold, Gina made it her life mission to ensure that seniors are always well cared for. She felt the community’s need and turned to the Jewish Federation of Broward County to bring Chai Care to life.
Chai Care is an individualized care management program for individuals Ages 65+. As a pioneer of the program, she recognized this great need in the community. With decades of working with seniors with emotional and health issues, she put forth her knowledge and developed this program to help legacy donors. She expands, “People don’t necessarily know how to ask for help.” She continues, “Each client has different needs. You give them the support they need by becoming their advocate.”
Growing up in a small city outside of New York City, she was fascinated with her parents’ role in giving back to their community. She expands, “As a child, I was always so proud of the work my parents did in philanthropy. It was always an important part of my life to volunteer.” She continues, “volunteering, participating with others on committees, and financially supporting our Jewish community is truly a blessing. Giving back to our community through Jewish Federation is so meaningful for us.”
When Gina met her husband, Stewart, they worked at a hospital and were set up by their colleagues. Together, they became heavily involved with the Jewish Federation of Broward County, continuing with the Jewish Women’s Foundation and the Jewish Community Foundation. Gina and Stewart have four children and are the proud grandparents to their six grandchildren. Today, they split their time between South Florida and North Carolina, enjoying the escape of the Florida heat to spend half the year in the mountains. Most recently, they trained their yellow lab, Lily, to be a therapy dog. They take her to meet with special needs children and sit with patients at hospitals. Gina elaborates, “Lily brings so much joy to others. She has a way of making all of their fears go away.”
Gina’s advice for helping others, “Reach out to your neighbors and people you meet along the way and stay in contact with them because you never know what challenges they may be going through.” She further explains, “This is particularly important for the senior population.” Gina encourages others to learn about the Chai Care program, expanding that, “It is a blessing!”
The Chai Care program delivers comprehensive advocacy for people confronted with the challenges of aging through individualized care management. Chai Care’s professional team is trained in gerontology, social work, nursing, healthcare, and counseling. The team makes specific recommendations, and they become a part of the individual’s extended family, helping to assure advocacy, referral, and support.