Over 700 people came to the JCC of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale on Sunday, September 9th, to remember the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States through volunteer work and helping those in need. This event, in honor of the federally recognized September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, commemorates the day by bringing the community together for a day of good deeds and charitable activities. The day was made possible by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, as well as corporate sponsors Arizona Beverages, Houlihan Lawrence, Seasons and Staples.
The event, a Day of Chesed (kindness), Service and Remembrance, was hosted by the JCC of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale in cooperation with UJA-Federation of New York and brought together participants of all ages from throughout the county to support myriad activities and programs benefitting 14 local agencies. These included:
- A formal program that honored the memory of all who lost their lives on 9/11. As part of the program, County Executive Rob Astorino addressed the audience, and the Solomon Schechter Westchester 8th Grade Girls A Capella Group sang “Hatikvah”, the Israeli national anthem, and “The Star Spangled Banner”.
- A blood drive for White Plains Hospital, resulting in over 40 pints of donated blood.
- An opportunity to register with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, resulting in 18 new registrants.
- Packaging of Rosh Hashanah foods to be delivered through Bronx Jewish Community Council in cooperation with UJA-Federation of Westchester.
- Card-making and a collection of DVDs for overseas troops through Operation Support Our Troops.
- A clothes drive for Kid’s Kloset of Westchester Jewish Community Services that provides new and gently-used children's clothes and items to local families in need
- A toy collection by the Pinwheel Project, which supports hospitalized children and their families.
- A cereal drive for HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle.
- A pet adoption through PetRescue.
- A school supplies collection for Food Bank for Westchester.
- Hair donations for Locks of Love, supporting children with medical hair loss.
Over 140 teens participated in the Teen Tribute, a teen-specific approach to remembering and service which included making blankets for hospitalized children through the Pinwheel project, a car wash that raised $590 for Gift of Life, decorating over 200 cupcakes which were delivered to local fire and police stations, and making 50 lunches for HOPE Community Services. Other activities included creating a paper Caring Quilt that will be presented to a local hospital, a concert that brought children, teens and adults together for a performance by Rockmitzvah, a professional rock band, that included jamming with some of the teen volunteers, and a lemonade stand run by children that raised over $250 for Sunrise Day Camp, a UJA funded camp for pediatric cancer patients.
“In addition to all the wonderful good deeds that took place, the Day of Chesed also served as a meaningful way for all members of the community – children, teens, adults and seniors – to work together”, said Ophira Cukierman, Co-President of the JCC. “It was heart-warming to see children with developmental disabilities working side by side with teens and seniors to create cards for overseas troops, enjoy the concert, or just enjoy a sip of lemonade”, commented Cukierman.
(Pictured at top:The teen car wash raised $590 to benefit Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation)