Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Purim Appeal - Please Help!

I have been very delinquent in posting here on the blog - I know that. It pains me, because I often write whole essays in my head about topical subjects and current events in the Jewish world and beyond. I wish I could say that I'm too busy; while I am working hard on certain projects, it's not the whole story. Part of it is lethargy and the inability to actually sit down and pen something. For that, I am sorry, and I will try to be more proactive in putting out fresh material.

With that said, I turn to my readers and anybody who comes across this posting to make a special request. A while ago, I posted about the drop-in center here in Passaic, NJ that myself and several other dedicated individuals started up over a year ago for the local teens. Thankfully, we entered our second year this past November and I'd like to say that we are experiencing some modest success. Of course, success isn't quantified by how many kids we "make frum" (we aren't doing kiruv in any active sense beyond modeling what appropriate behavior is and showing kids how religious adults act) but rather on the connections we make with our kids. We (the volunteers) have opened our hearts, our homes in some cases, and our wallets as well.

Unfortunately, money is an ever present issue, notably the lack of it, and the need for it to keep things running smoothly. We did a fundraising campaign just prior to the summer and raised a nice amount, but unanticipated events necessitated our going "on the road" for the whole summer, which depleted most of our funds despite our best attempts to be financially conservative.

Since the summer, we have expanded our program to accommodate the needs of our girls' programs; we have successfully placed some boys in schools/yeshivot and covered some of their tuition; we have begun liaising with local mental health organizations to provide some counseling for some our kids who have reached out to us, and we continue to run our programs throughout the week.

But we are broke. Really, really broke. I have put a lot of personal money into this endeavor, as have some of my colleagues, but it's not enough, and it's not sustainable this way.

We are appealing to everyone in the spirit of "kol haposhet yado, nitan lo" that exemplifies this time of year to please lend a hand. Every little bit helps of course; we have a monthly budget of $2000-$2500 and that's without rent. However, we anticipate being forced to go mobile again in the summer, which bumps our weekly budget up to nearly $1000 as we need to cover costs for food, travel, and activities.


Checks can be made out to:

The Chill

134 Boulevard #10
Passaic NJ 07055

We are a 501 c3; and we can send a receipt if you need one.

Tizku l'mitzvot!

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