As early as November, eager children are awaiting the glory of Chanukah and the promise of colorful and exciting gifts and toys. This autumn we are enjoying beautiful weather, a rainbow of fall foliage and hopefully a wealth of nachas and good health. Unfortunately, Chanukah often causes more stress for parents and single mothers who cannot afford gifts. For these individuals, Chanukah is not the exciting, sparkling prospect that it is for their children.
With just weeks left until Chanukah, JCCRP/JCC’s toy drive is in full swing. At this moment there are seven toy-drive coordinators who are working hard along with dedicated staff to make this a successful endeavor. The coordinators are: Shani Abittan, Adi Aryeh, Daphna Mishaan, Fraidy Osina, Rebecca Richman, Rocky Stern, and Lily Weichholz.
This year’s toy drive is in loving memory of Rochel Baron, a’h, who was responsible for creating the toy drive. She passed away around Rosh Hashanah in 2012, but while she was sick with cancer, she had the sensitivity and the caring to ask, “Why are sick kids the only ones to get gifts? What about people who cannot afford them?” And just like that, the idea of the toy drive was created. Two years later, we see the tremendous impact she’s had and how one giving, thoughtful person can really create a ripple effect and change in the community.
In the spirit of giving, our community looks to spark the seeds of generosity once again, through the joint efforts of the JCCRP and the JCC of the Greater Five Towns Toy Drive, in memory of Rochel Baron, a’h. UJA-Federation of New York has been incredibly supportive in helping fund this endeavor, but a lot of work needs to be done and we need the community to participate to create the best results possible.
Community residents are so excited to participate and contribute toys to this meaningful project. Amazingly, families who last year were on the receiving end of Hurricane Sandy relief are now so happy to be on the giving end. Families are going on Chanukah shopping sprees to buy gifts for others less fortunate. What a special feeling that is for the children who are lucky enough to get their own special Chanukah gifts year after year. For those who can’t make it to the store, you can contribute online. Together as a community and in honor and memory of Rochel Baron, a’h, we can create a Chanukah of perfect simcha for those in need—both parents and children alike. Please join us in this extraordinary community-wide effort to light up Chanukah for countless families in our area.
New, unwrapped gifts in their original packaging and/or donations can be dropped off at Brach’s Supermarket or at the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, 207 Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst. Additionally, you can donate online to help purchase toys at www.jccrp.org/toydrive. For more information or to volunteer, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-327-7755 and ask for Elizabeth, ext. 6113 or Naamah, ext. 6124.