(New York, NY -- November 10, 2005) -- To Young Judaeans, Hadassah’s youth movement, Thanksgiving this year means one thing: making sure that kids who have been relocated from New Orleans to Jackson, MS have a good holiday. In the next 10 days, no less than four 24-foot trucks will head south filling along the way with non-perishable food, toys and games collected and packed by Young Judaea clubs from Massachusetts to Florida and more than a dozen stops in between.
“Caravan 4 Katrina” was the brainchild of the high-school-aged Northeast leadership cabinet of Young Judaea to respond to the mass destruction from Hurricane Katrina. According to Seth Finkelstein, of Bala Cynwyd, PA , chair of the Eastern Pennsylvania Leadership Cabinet: “We’ve raised more than $15,000 and are in the final stages of preparing events to gather and load the supplies on the trucks. As members of an organization dedicated to social action and community responsibility, we understand our responsibility to do our part in the rebuilding of the Gulf region.”
Trucks are starting their rounds to collect the goods as early as today, when the first pick-up will be made from Savannah, GA. In the coming days two trucks in the Southeastern U.S. will visit Chevy Chase, MD; Richmond, VA; Durham and Greensboro, NC; Atlanta, GA; eight sites in Florida; and Montgomery and Mobile, AL.
At the same time two trucks will be traveling from the Northeast, with one starting in Waltham, MA on November 19 and stopping at West Hartford, CT, Peekskill and New City, NY. The second truck will originate in River Edge, NJ and continue to Whippany, East Brunswick and rendezvous with the first truck in Wynnewood, PA.
At each stop along the way, Young Judaea club members, their parents and families, Hadassah women and community members will load the trucks with the supplies they have spent the last three weeks collecting from hundreds of donors.
The final destination for the four loads will be Jackson, MS, where Young Judaea staffers will arrive on Monday, November 21. Working through the United Way and the Word of Faith Christian Center in Jackson, they will distribute non-perishable food and children’s books and toys at the YMCA of Jackson, plus hold an event for the local children. They expect more than 100 kids to participate in a sing-along concert and an art project to make decorations for their Thanksgiving tables.
“We are absolutely bursting with pride at the initiative of our Young Judaeans,” said June Walker, National President of Hadassah. “These kids know the true meaning of tzedakah. In addition to doing good, they also do well – they are extremely well organized and can deliver!”