The 6th Annual Jelly Bean Jump Up is Up & Running

Jelly Bean the Corgi in Black and White

Our yearly work to raise money for SafeHouse Center

By Ari Weinzweig

This week marks the start of the 6th Annual Jelly Bean Jump Up. If you’re not yet familiar with it, February is the month we work to collectively raise funds to support SafeHouse Center to help provide a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. One of the byproducts of the pandemic is the marked increase in that violence—what some have called “a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic.” Which means that this annual fundraiser is more important than ever in providing a place of shelter from the emotional storms that are still raging in many homes.

The Jump Up started, in the winter of 2016, after the death of my much loved Corgi Jelly Bean the previous spring. If you’ve lost a beloved companion (person or pet), you will likely have some sense of what I was going through. She and I had been together for a remarkable 17 years. (If you want to see the obituary I wrote for her, drop me an email.) Karla McLaren, whose writing about emotion has been enormously helpful to me over the years, says:

Grief is a beautiful, languid, and powerful emotion… it arises when something is lost irretrievably, or when a death occurs—be it actual death, or the death of important attachments, ideas, or relationships… grief transports you to the deepest places when you have no choice but to let go—when the loss of vital relationships or vital attachments feels like (or is) death itself… Grief enables you to survive losses by immersing you in the deep river that flows underneath all life.

Although grief will likely feel overwhelming, there are ways to slowly, gently shift it, painfully at times, into something constructive. I wanted to take the pain and put it into something positive that would, as per the piece above about vision, benefit the greater good. Marsha Ricevuto, who knew Jelly Bean well and cared for her so many times when I went out of town over the years, suggested the idea of a “Jump Up.” I love alliteration and I loved Jelly Bean, so it seemed natural. Nine months later it happened. Tammie and I wanted to do it for SafeHouse because we live nearby, and all the staff would see me and Jelly Bean jogging every day, and most importantly because it’s such an important cause, and one that’s always in need of support. That support is, today, more important than ever. Here’s what Deb Kern from SafeHouse Center shared:

COVID-19 has caused major economic devastation, disconnected many survivors from community resources and support systems, and created widespread uncertainty and panic. Such conditions can stimulate violence in families and worsen situations in homes where abuse and violence have been a problem. At first in March and April, our helpline was eerily quiet. That was not because violence was decreasing, rather survivors were unable to safely connect to our services because the restriction on their movements gave them less privacy. Survivors need help more than ever.

Here’s a list of some of the many ways you can support this important cause:

Go online and donate today.

 It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s tax deductible.

Corgi Cookies 

These terrifically tasty, handmade, beautifully-decorated sugar Corgi Cookies from the Bakehouse are out for sale at the Bakeshop, Deli, Roadhouse, and at Plum Market. Everyone who sees them smiles, they taste as good as they look, and the Bakehouse donates part of the proceeds from each cookie to the Jump Up.

“Coin cans” around the ’CoB 

All of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses will have coin cans in which you can drop anything from a couple of quarters on up to a handful of hundred dollar bills or anything in between. All the locations of Probility Physical Therapy have them too.

Donate at Plum Market 

All the Plum stores will generously be collecting for the cause through this Sunday, February 14. The good people of Plum have become really great supporters of this cause (as there are so many important community causes).

The Roadhouse’s Jelly Bean Jump Up Virtual Dinner on Tues., March 2 

The food will be real, and the gathering will be virtual. The Roadhouse menu options will be up online soon, and we’ll post tiered pricing so you can donate and dine at a level that feels right for you and your loved ones. The online part of the event will include greetings from SafeHouse Center’s Barbara Niess and Deb Kern, as well as a live concertlet from May Erlewine and a chance for your pet to show their cute self online and have you share their stories.

A special cocktail at the Roadhouse

This month, in memory of our Community Giving director Melaina Bukowski’s late pup, Emmy, who passed away earlier this year. It’s called Emmy’s Epitaph. You can order it in house, and thanks to the new cocktail-to-go program you can pick up as many of them as you like in bottles to bring home (no don’t drink them while you’re driving).

An online continuation of our annual pet photo contest! 

It will run from Feb. 13 through March 5. Get your pup into pictures and print! Watch for details coming soon on the SafeHouse Center website.

Jelly Bean Jump Up Calendars 

Last year’s pet photos will form the core of this year’s fun little puppy-centric calendars. They’re on sale at the Deli, Coffee Company, Bakehouse and Roadhouse for $10 (or as much as you’d like) and thanks to the generosity of Dollar Bill Printing, we can send the proceeds to SafeHouse Center.This year, loss and grief are more prominent in our collective lives than ever. It’s important to honor, process and slowly, gently push through and ultimately past it. Karla McLaren says:

If you let the river flow through you, your heart will not be emptied; it will be expanded, and you’ll have more capacity to love, and more room to breathe. When you’re done grieving, you won’t need or want to erase the memory of your loss—instead, your loss will become a part of you: a part of your ancestral lineage, your strength, and your recognition of the fragility of life. You won’t become bulletproof and grief-hardened—instead, you’ll soften into the true strength that arises when you connect to grief and loss in sacred ways.

Connecting the loss of one small dog, insignificant in the scheme of the world, but super important to me, with a cause that helps those in the community was one way to do what Dr. McLaren is writing about. Please help spread the word! Those who are victims of domestic abuse in our community need our support! Every dollar helps!!! Each year, the Jump Up gets bigger!

Thanks to everyone in the ZCoB, Plum Market, Probility, Old National Bank, A Breed Above for their active support! Last year we raised over $30,000 for SafeHouse Center. This year we’re going for more!