On Tuesday evening, May 17, Chazaq, Chickens for Shabbos, and Olam Realty held the last distribution of the school year for mechanchim, rebbeim, moros, as well as divorcees and almanos. Over 200 people signed up. Again, the Ner Mordechai Congregation in Kew Gardens kindly hosted this beautiful event. Each of the people was welcomed with a warm smile and greeting from Mrs. Betty Aboff and her daughter Suri Aboff, and was handed an inventory list of the items available. Then the guests were directed to the ballroom, which was filled with an incredible assortment of brand-new household items. Diapers, baby wipes, brooms, cosmetics, electronics, dental care items, men’s brand-name shoes, tons of fun toys, women’s shells, and more were set up in a beautiful display.
Chazaq/Chickens for Shabbos distributions have brought so much light and love to so many. One recipient shared, “I look forward to these distributions all year.”
Another woman shared, “My kids wait eagerly by the window, waiting to see what new things we are getting.”
Someone else said, “It’s very helpful. Especially the diapers.”
“I look for the email to sign up. The sponsors are amazing for doing this!”
Suri Aboff, sister of Robbie Aboff, Chazaq Events Coordinator, stated, “I always look forward to volunteering and helping out at the distributions. I enjoy helping others.”
A Queens morah noted, “This is so appreciated. Just the little things, like diapers helps so much when you are on a tight budget.”
Another morah said, “In the times we are living in now, every little bit helps those of us working in klei kodesh.”
The distributions have focused on widows, agunos, divorcées, moros, and mechanchim. 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. “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 Olam Realty.”
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 graciously opens itself to these distributions. This last distribution of the school year featured a smorgasbord of items that came from big box retailers.
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 the preparation that go into making the feast.
Over 200 people came and benefited. It’s a wonderful way to say thank you to the moros and the mechanchim 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 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 melamdim. It helps 300 families of melamdim 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 and advocate for you. Robby 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