Shames JCC to Host UJA’s Day of Service on MLK Day

On January 21, 2019, Shames JCC volunteers will sort, decorate and put together 600 “Blizzard Boxes,” emergency kits of non-perishable food, which will be distributed to various senior centers and food pantries.

This cross-generational service project designed to put Dr. King’s words into action will bring together teens who live at the Jewish Board Hawthorne Campus, seniors from Engage Westchester and families from the JCC community.

There will be lots to do at the event which begins at 10:00 AM and lasts until noon. In addition to creating the Blizzard Boxes, children can make note cards to include in the boxes which they can decorate.

The Shames is also conducting a donation drive of flashlights and batteries which will be distributed along with the boxes. Donation boxes can be found in the lobbies of both buildings on the JCC campus.

In assembly line fashion and in rhythm to the music provided, volunteers will fill the boxes with soup, canned vegetables, milk, fruit, and tuna. Each is designed for one complete meal in case of a winter weather emergency. Beneficiaries include the Town of Mt. Pleasant Community Center Senior Program, Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry of Pleasantville, Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown and the Bronx Jewish Community Council.

As a sideline to the main event, Engage Volunteers will be knitting sanctuary blankets for the residents of the Jewish Board Hawthorne Campus. And, because January 21st also happens to be Tu B’shevat, known as Jewish Arbor Day, the Shames JCC’s Jewish Life Coordinator will encourage the boxes to be decorated with tree designs.

This is the 4th year that UJA Federation of New York has sponsored the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in Westchester. Twenty-One other non-profits in the New York area are also participating with their own project.

The public is invited to participate as volunteers or knitters. Please go to to sign up.

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About the Author: Susan Tolchin