May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yad Leah Drive-By Clothing Drive Elicits Massive Response

(Courtesy of Yad Leah) Over 500 Bergen County families lined up at the Yeshivat He’Atid parking lot to participate in the Yad Leah Drive-By Emergency Clothing Drive for Israel on Monday August 3. Capitalizing on the time at home to focus on helping others, hundreds of people combed through closets, shelves and drawers to identify clothing they could donate to struggling families in Israel. Many of these previously two-income Israeli households who were just making it through the month have been suddenly thrust beneath the poverty line due to the sudden loss of income and unemployment that has been caused by COVID-19.

Motivated by a deep passion to help, tens of teens and adults including youth from NCSY and Temple Emeth volunteered to run the clothing drop-off operation to ensure a smooth, contactless experience. Hearing about the activity, community members brought over pizza and Gatorade for the volunteers who were laboring in the sun. The folks at Cinch provided the water.

The response far exceeded any expectations. People came with bags of beautiful clothing. After filling up a truck and a trailer, more transport was needed as the skies began to darken and threaten a coming storm. However, the community got to work to source transportation and labor. Within minutes, Shalom Richter arrived with a 54-foot truck as 100 masked teens and adults descended on the school parking lot to save the clothing before the rain hit. In under 30 minutes, everyone worked together and loaded approximately 1500 bags and then broke into “Am Yisrael Chai.”

Reflecting back on the evening, Nomi Rotblat, a mom and Teaneck community leader, commented that “it was really beautiful to see everyone working together. It reminded me of an earlier era of small community efforts where children and their parents come out to help. It’s so important for our kids to have these kinds of experiences and opportunities to be involved, be counted and make a difference. “

To build confidence, preserve dignity and sponsor the distribution of the collected clothing from the emergency drive, visit www.yadleah.org.

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