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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mega Yad Leah Clothing Drive is set for March 18.

Yad Leah has announced its first-ever Mega Clothing Drive, which will take place on March 18, with a mission to support needy families in Israel by providing them with quality clothing. The organization will be accepting all clothing in excellent condition including boys’, girls’, men’s and women’s, plus gently used linens, towels, tablecloths, handbags, backpacks, shoes and all outerwear.

Jessica Katz, who has been the driving force behind Yad Leah since its inception in 2003, is hoping the broad communal support for Yad Leah will spur people to donate as they clean out closets for spring cleaning, and to recognize the value that each donation makes to someone in need. At Yad Leah’s inception, just a few boxes were packed and shipped out to Beitar. Since then, branches have been established in Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh, as well as in outlying communities that do not have easy access to social service programs, including those in the Kiryat Arba area, Itamar, Elon Moreh, Beit El, Tapuach, Maaleh Levona, Mitzpeh Yericho, Shadmot Mechola, Tsfat, Yad Binyamin and others. There are now 25 branches in total throughout Israel.

During the past year more than 7,000 boxes were sent to these communities—more than 4 million dollars’ worth of clothing and other items. The organization depends on donations to help facilitate these tremendous acts of chesed, specifically, to subsidize the costs involved with shipping the goods to Israel. While clothing donations are always needed and welcome, Yad Leah also needs monetary donations. The suggested donation is $36 per family, and that is the bare minimum needed to enable the organization to meet its financial needs.

With Pesach just around the corner, the timing of the drive is perfect for everyone as they clean out their closets and remove all outgrown children’s clothing, and no longer worn men’s and women’s clothing. Fashionistas say that after an article of clothing is not worn for one year, chances are that it will never again be worn. Yad Leah has provided the perfect opportunity to gather all of these garments and put them into donation bags. Your closet will have so much more space, and the mitzvah in which you are participating will stretch all the way to Eretz Yisroel.

Two “specialty gemachim” have been successfully established, one being a mother/sister gown gemach in Bet Shemesh and the other a black hat gemach in Kiryat Sefer. Imagine the thrill of knowing that the gown that was worn at a child’s wedding can now be used by someone in Eretz Yisrael who can walk with pride at her simcha feeling confident that her simcha attire perfectly fits the occasion! In order to welcome shoppers to the thrift stores in their different communities, the clothing is sold with a suggested price in order to maintain the customer’s sense of pride and dignity. All money that is received is used for the maintenance of the gemach.

Recipients of the clothing run the gamut from chiloni to charedi, and anyone who is in need is welcome. Israelis as well as olim from North America, the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Bnai Menashe from India and Peru have all made use of Yad Leah’s services.

With the increase in anti-Semitism in Europe and South America, it is possible that soon the need will be even greater as more and more people are leaving their homes and making aliyah. For many of us, it is difficult to imagine our children or grandchildren feeling sad when going out to play with friends due to their embarrassment over their torn and worn clothing and shoes. Unfortunately, that is the reality in many of the above-mentioned communities in Israel. Yad Leah helps put smiles on children’s faces as they “shop” with their parents to select clothing of which they can be proud, and that boost in self-esteem typically carries over to other aspects of their lives. Turn your clutter into an act of kindness and donate on March 18.

The Passaic drop-off will be at Yad Leah’s headquarters at 2 Brighton Ave. in Passaic, New Jersey, immediately adjacent to the Sukkah outlet. Volunteers will be on hand to provide curbside assistance from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Additionally, there will be five other drop off locations in Teaneck, Englewood and Fair Lawn. For more information or to make a donation, please contact [email protected] or call 973-955-0861.
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