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Supplying the Needy

“Do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. Rather you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs.”                    

Deuteronomy 15:7-8

Each year during the holiday season, members of Shomrei Emunah adopt nine destitute families and individuals – a range of ages, from families with several children to elderly people on their own – through an altruistic service located not too far from Montclair. The identities of the people whom we serve are not known to us. All that we are told by the intermediaries are a few words describing the recipients of our aid and why they are in need of it.

Shomrei Shares begins at Thanksgiving time, with the arrival of nine big boxes in the synagogue lobby. A variety of shul groups – the Hebrew school, preschool families, and others – and many Shomrei members are quickly matched up with each of the boxes and the people they represent.

Donations are not secondhand items or discards, but brand-new merchandise purchased specially for those we have chosen to help.

Each recipient is different. Many ask for new clothes, and we are told their sizes, sex and age. Some may request housewares or toiletries, books or toys. Others may have lost everything to a fire. Gift certificates to stores like Target or Shop Rite are frequent requests. Some have been known to ask for simple creature comforts. One once asked for a “warm bathrobe.” Another asked simply for “chocolate.”

Whatever the request, without fail, Shomrei members answer the call with abundant generosity. And our donations typically go well beyond the items requested - limited only by our imaginations.

Our gifts are bundled during Hanukah and delivered by Amanda Seeff-Charny, who organized Shomrei Shares with her children and has run it ever since.

To view the specifics needs of the families in 2012, please click here.

Information: Amanda Seeff-Charney, at (973) 509-0437

Those who prefer to give through an easier, perhaps more convenient transaction than making special purchases can instead make donations of Shomrei Scrip, which our adopted families can use as cash at participating stores.

Here’s how it works: Shomrei Emunah buys gift cards from Shop Rite, A&P and Kings at a 5 percent discount. We sell them to members at full face value. Therefore, if you purchase a gift card and contribute it to Shomrei Shares, it is a donation both to the needy and to the congregation. 

Gift cards are available for purchase in denominations of $25, $50 or $100.

Information: Renata Worob, (917) 346-4761