FOR MEDIA ADVISORY AND IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: September 1, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:
Cell 24/7: 561-716-5107
UNITED BOCA DELRAY HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF EFFORT OPENS COLLECTION SITE, OPERATIONS
Houses of Worship, Agencies, Organizations Join in Community Response
(supply list and community partners to date follow release)
Boca Raton, FL Deeply concerned with the plight of people facing devastation and uncertainty in the ongoing disaster and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, synagogues, churches, agencies and organizations from throughout Boca Raton and Delray Beach have come together to mount a united effort to help. In under three days, more than fifty groups (see list below) have joined the Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief humanitarian collaboration, and that number keeps rising.
In addition to raising emergency funds, the group has opened a community-wide collection site for material donations at Lynn Financial Center, 1875 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton (use East Entrance). Beginning on Friday, September 1, donations will be accepted daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week.
The most urgently needed items are: Diapers – all sizes, zinc oxide diaper cream, baby wipes, baby formula, Ensure-type nutritional drinks for children and adults, socks, underwear – all sizes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene wipes, cereal bars, individually wrapped snacks, Neosporin, Band-Aids, Squeeze applesauce, protein bars, and water (see list format below).
Ron Gallatin, Chairman, President & CEO of Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), the Boca Raton-based nonprofit charity coordinating the collaborative local relief collections and distribution, explains that, as it has in other urgent situations, HOT is working with groups on the ground to determine, collect and purchase what is most needed, as well as arranging deliveries for most effective immediate distribution.
Summer Faerman, the Project Coordinator, added, “HOT has already purchased and, courtesy of NFI Industries in Dallas, trucked $40,000 of critically needed supplies to Houston, in one case to assist with clean-up and, in the other, to meet basic necessities for daily living.“
“A huge humanitarian effort is needed to help address the unimaginable destruction and displacement that Hurricane Harvey has wrought, and our own community is stepping up in a major way,” said Gallatin. “In addition to all of our varied local synagogues, Jewish schools and agencies, other groups joining us so far include Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association, Boca Helping Hands, Boca Raton Rotary, Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation and FAU Student Government,” Gallatin continued.
Spiritual leaders of local Conservative, Orthodox and Reform synagogues quickly embraced the collaborative community effort.
“We are fortunate in our area, because we have not experienced this type of devastation, and because we are a community with the capacity to help others in a large way,” said Rabbi David Steinhardt, Sr. Rabbi at the Conservative B’nai Torah Congregation. “The fact that we have developed a deep connection between our various synagogues and community agencies has allowed us to come together to help those suffering and in need in Texas. Reaching out to our fellow human beings during a time of need is responding to a fundamental religious call.”
“While we pray that natural disasters never strike, the devastation of Hurricane Harvey provides an opportunity to bring out the best in people,” said Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Sr. Rabbi at the Modern Orthodox Boca Raton Synagogue. “I am extremely proud that our Boca Raton community has come together to coordinate our relief and volunteer efforts in a unified way.”
“The commandment ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ teaches us that we must reach out with care and compassion, especially to the most vulnerable,” Rabbi Dan Levin, Sr. Rabbi at the Reform Temple Beth El. “Seeing our community come together to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from this disaster is to see the holiness of our tradition come to life.”
In addition to urgently needed material goods, monetary and service contributions are coming in, and more are urgently needed. Gallatin assures that 100% of funds received will be used to help those severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
“We very quickly received our first $75,000 in varied contributions, with HOT’s $25,000 challenge grant met almost immediately,” said HOT’s Ron Gallatin. “Cash, checks and in-kind donations keep arriving, and all local synagogues as well as other houses of worship will be spreading the word this weekend. “We are also grateful for in-kind donations including packing supplies from Home Depot Foundation, space from Lynn Financial Center, tables and chairs from Florida Atlantic University, signage from Signarama, and trucking from Florida to Texas thanks to Gerald and Donna Kramer and Family. We look forward to additional corporate participation.”
The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County joined the partnership at the outset. The Federation’s Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation has already contributed an Emergency Grant of $25,000. The Federation has also donated $30,000 from designated donations for Hurricane Harvey relief, said President & CEO Matthew C. Levin. The combined $55,000 was sent through the Jewish Federations of North America’s extensive efforts which have so far raised an estimated $2.5 million and provided key staff on the ground in Houston.
“Our Federation will be proudly contributing to Boca Delray Hurricane Relief as well,” said Levin. “We are thrilled to be part of this vital community collaboration, and commend HOT for engaging so many partners so quickly. Bringing so many of us together to help in a time of crisis strengthens us as a community and a people as it provides urgently needed help to those living with the tragic effects of this devastating storm.”
TO CONTRIBUTE FUNDS:
Financial contributions may be brought to the donation center, or made through individual houses of worship or organizations earmarking funds for the collaborative community project. Checks made out to “HOT” or “Hands On Tzedakah” may also be mailed to 2901 Clint Moore #318, Boca Raton, FL 33496. Some houses of worship, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and other groups are accepting online donations specifically for Hurricane Harvey Relief, which may also be designated at http://www.handsontzedakah.org/donate.html.
Volunteer opportunities are available at the collection site. Please see Project Coordinator Summer Faerman upon arrival for an assignment.
For more information about the Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts, contact Summer Faerman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-571-1274.
MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:
Cell 24/7: 561-716-5107
Some of the most needed Hurricane Harvey relief items:
Diapers – all sizes
Zinc oxide (diaper cream)
Ensure for children and adults
Underwear – all sizes
Individually wrapped snacks
BOCA DELRAY HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF Participating Groups*
Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
American Association of Caregiving Youth*
Anshei Emuna Congregation
B’nai Torah Congregation**
Boca Helping Hands
Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association**
Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation
Boca Raton Rotary
Boca Raton Synagogue West
Boca Jewish Center/Shaaray Tefilla
Boca Raton Jewish Experience
Boca Raton Synagogue**
Chabad Israeli Center
Chabad of Central Boca Raton
Chabad of East Boca Raton
Chabad of East Delray
Chabad of West Boca Raton
Chabad Student Center
Congregation B’nai Israel
Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Congregation Torah Ohr
Delray Orthodox Synagogue
Donna Klein Jewish Academy
East Boca Kehilla
FAU Student Government
Hadar High School for Girls
Hands On Tzedakah (HOT)**
Hillel of Palm Beach and Broward
Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach
Home Depot Foundation
Jewish Association for Residential Care
Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County**
Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton
Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida
Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services
Temple Anshei Shalom
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton**
Temple Beth Shira
Temple Sinai of Palm Beach County
The Neshama Institute
Torah Academy of Boca Raton
Yeshiva Tiferes Torah of Boca Raton
Young Israel of Boca Raton
*In formation, as of 9/1/17
**Steering Committee Member