On Wednesday evening, February 9, Chazaq, Chickens for Shabbos, and Shlomo Meirov sponsored another wonderful distribution for m’chanchim, moros, and divorcees. Over 200 people signed up. Again, the Ner Mordechai shul in Kew Gardens kindly hosted this beautiful event. Everyone was welcomed with a smile and a personal greeting, and then they were directed to the ballroom that was filled with an incredible assortment of brand-new household items – every imaginable donated item.
Chazaq / Chickens for Shabbos distributions have brought so much light and love to so many. One mother shared how her children wait anxiously by the door for her return, when they know she’s coming from a distribution. One daughter is still wearing the robe she received from the last distribution. The distributions have focused on widows, agunos, divorcees, moros, and m’chanchim. Sometimes they are specifically available for one particular group. The overwhelming response has been gratitude that a need was being met in such a dignified, beautiful way. Robbie Aboff, Chazaq Events Coordinator, shared: “We want to thank our partners at Olam Chesed for arranging the goods that we distribute at the distributions. Most of the expenses of the distributions are covered by the generous support of Chickens for Shabbos and Mr. Shlomo Meirov.”
Robbie Aboff saw a distribution in West Hempstead and decided it would be a good idea to bring this to Queens. He calls the distributions a Gan Eden of choices. The Ner Mordechai ballroom in Kew Gardens graciously opens itself to these distributions. On Tuesday evening, November 23, the ballroom was magnificently turned into a smorgasbord of items. Everything was neatly displayed like a store. There were huge electronics, keyboards, phone chargers, headphones, Bluetooth devices, over-the-counter medicines, diapers, toys, clothing for adults and children, children’s shoes, cosmetics, baby items like wipes and diapers, and blankets. Olam Chesed brought the donations from big companies like JCrew, Old Navy, and Amazon.
Hours of work and planning go into a distribution. A large truck comes with a myriad of pallets filled with items, and the team of Chazaq volunteers, including the whole Aboff family, are at the site ready to unload and begin sorting and organizing the wares onto tables for display. If you go to a distribution, you are sure to meet members of the Aboff family who enthusiastically volunteer and help with these events.
Robbie Aboff compares it to a feast. You see the food in its finished form but not all the work and preparation that goes into making the feast.
When this writer arrived on the scene, many people were leaving with boxes and stuffed bags of goods and, most importantly, big smiles on their faces.
Over 200 people came and benefited. It’s a wonderful way to say thank you to the moros and m’chanchim who give so much love and dedication to educating our children.
“We choose which goods to offer based on what is popular,” Robbie shared. What a beautiful mitzvah to partake of. Imagine how much joy is being brought into so many families, and what a relief it is for those who are struggling economically to receive these gifts. It’s also a big emotional boost for some to know that the community cares and we are really there for each other.
Chickens for Shabbos is an organization specializing in helping families of agunos, g’rushos, and m’lamdim. It helps 300 families of m’lamdim and 110 families of agunos and g’rushos.
It privately tutors 222 children of agunos and g’rushos including boys and girls. This translates into thousands of neshamos that are begging for help. This tz’dakah operates at zero overhead. There are no words to express its gratitude for the community’s support. These neshamos you help will be an advocate for you. Robbie Neuman asks, “Please help us at ChickensforShabbos.com. The one goal of this tz’dakah is to take away the pain of poverty and replace it with great memories.”
What a z’chus it would be for all of us if you would help us in this endeavor by donating to ChickensforShabbos.com, which will now be l’zeicher nishmas Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld zt”l who was the founding partner of Chickens for Shabbos, the charity that operates with zero overhead.
By Susie Garber