For nearly two decades, every November our teens gather clothing, food, personal items, and lots of other good and important items to give to the less fortunate. On Thanksgiving weekend, they caravan to a Newark homeless shelter and soup kitchen, where they spend several hours arranging the items in attractive, inviting settings, then working with the clients – the hundreds of clients – who hope to supplement the meager supplies in their own homes.
We used to do this late Saturday night so we called it the Midnight Run. But when our partners at St. Ann’s Church pointed out that on Sunday afternoon there would be lots more people we could help, we of course agreed. So on Sunday, November 26, several dozen of our teenagers will gather at the Temple to sift through, sort, organize and package mountains and mountains of goods that we – the members of Temple B’nai Abraham – provide. We help our youngsters perform a wonderful mitzvah by helping the less fortunate. Perhaps even more important, they see the faces of poverty up close, as they meet, help, and visit with the clients who come to St. Ann’s. Our own children a lesson about the real world, a lesson we desperately want them to learn.
So what can you do? Glad you asked.
- Food! Canned goods and non-perishable items of every kind. Tuna fish, peanut butter, pasta, and canned fruits, vegetables and meals-in-a-can like Beefaroni are especially desirable. (Don’t forget to check the “use by” date!)
- Household Items! New or gently used sheets, towels, dishes, flatware, cookware, and cleaning items like Mr. Clean, Ajax and Windex. Similarly, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes are high demand items.
- Clothing! New or gently used outerwear, including hats, gloves, scarves and overcoats, and winter boots and winter jackets for men, women and children of all ages…larger adult sizes are particularly useful. Sweaters, sweatshirts and sweatpants, and socks – thick ones – are also great.
- Baby Items: Diapers, wipes and formula are in high demand, along with new bottles. Strollers are also welcome. (No car seats!)
Bring as much as you can, whether from home or from the store, and drop it off at the Temple any time through the early morning of the 26th. And please note: no matter how much we collect we always give it all away…so be generous!
P.S. If you’d like to support this effort with a cash gift, just email me back. We’ll use those funds to purchase the baby and food items inevitably in high demand.