grandma_400.jpgWhen it comes to helping folks, Jeanette Johnson’s a real veteran – literally and figuratively. Grandma JJ, as she insists to be called by all, is a most modest and kind-hearted lady who doesn’t think it’s a big deal to help support two of the girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya.

Surfing the net one day and perusing a prayer site, Grandma JJ saw a flash photo of two girls at the Home in Netanya. All she needed was to stop and look at the sheer desperation in their eyes and she knew she needed to help these girls in Israel. She called the number and spoke to Chavie Lieberman who answered many of her questions about the girls at the Home. Soon she received two photos in the mail.

i-love-jj.jpgOnce JJ received those two images, she did not dare chose one over the other, she says. “How could I make such a choice? They both needed my help.” So, that day she made up her mind to help BOTH girls and to be part of their support system. She just could not let these girls down!

Jeanette Johnson was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. She also served in the United States Armed Services and spent a few months in Viet Nam. Due to injuries sustained on duty, JJ had to return to the States for therapy. Her experiences in the Army, which left her with yet another nickname, “Sergeant” can fill up an entire book, which would undoubtedly be a ‘page turner.’

santamonica.jpgBesides her dedication to Sarah and Eliana at the Home, Grandma JJ has other favorite charities she gives her ’all’ to including her aid to the Red Cross Relief during recent flooding, her membership in the VFW – Veterans of Foreign Wars, and her local charity – Gallatin Cares – a local center that serves meals and donates new clothing to the needy.

Interviewing Grandma JJ was a great pleasure for Lev LaLev. After our initial conversation, she continued answering our questions through e-mail correspondence the next day even though she had to visit the Veterans’ Administration (V.A. Medical Center) all day, while storms were brewing in and around Gallatin.

JGallatin,TN.jpgJ tells us how she found the girls (at the Home) while reading a prayer site. “Up popped the girls’ pictures with the western wall in the background. I looked into one of the children’s eyes and saw a lot of hidden pain. To me, they said ‘Doesn’t anyone care????’ Jeanette Johnson continues by writing, “It tore my heart out! When I see and know a child is in trouble, I am led to get help for that child.”

smbay.jpgAlthough Grandma JJ lives on a limited income, she feels that she can’t let the children down. She says, “They are Israel’s future!”  Grandma JJ is 72 years young. She has 3 grandchildren:  Summer, who is 18, Jordon, a 17 year old, and Kraylor – her only grandson, who is 14.

Grandma JJ’s son, James Johnson, has a very noble job. He is the director of operations for the Baja California School for the Deaf. He does fund raising, and gathers volunteer teams for the school, and much more.  JJ also tells us that the whole Johnson family is involved in this endeavor.

worlds_best_grandma_sparrows_silhouette_branch_mug-p16804374With great pride and excitement, JJ continues telling us how she helped the Red Cross during the floods in Montana. She is also involved with Diane Black’s Congress Vets Group of Tennessee and the electoral board for voters.

Her work and passion was to manage group homes for teens that are disabled. If all these volunteer activities are not enough, JJ also helps to save stray animals. That, along with trying to learn Hebrew so she can read notes sent to her from Israel is still not enough to keep her totally occupied. Grandma JJ is also trying to complete her Spanish course, too!

Finally, JJ thinks into the future, where she’d like to work on children’s books with strong messages. But ultimately, Grandma JJ’s biggest wish is for her relationship with the girls to grow stronger!

Lev LaLev applauds Jeanette Johnson, A.K.A. Grandma JJ! And, to be sure, Sarah and Elana are thrilled to have someone to call “Grandma JJ!”

Sponsor a girl (or two!) at the Children’s Home, NOW!


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