Chaverim of Queens, founded in memory of world-renowned philanthropist Mr. Jack Friedman a”h, started with just 10 volunteers. That was 15 years ago, when calls were dispatched to volunteers via beepers. Today, Chaverim of Queens has over 130 volunteers who respond to calls rapidly via an app. The acts of chesed that the volunteers of Chaverim do daily does not go unnoticed by those who have benefited from the assistance provided.

Now in its 15th consecutive year operating an anti-drinking-and-driving campaign, Chaverim of Queens is spreading awareness and asking the community to please be safe over Purim.

We are unfortunately aware of the excessive drinking that sometimes takes place within our communities during the joyous holiday. This year’s celebrations will once again see congregations and institutions rejoicing and unifying in-person. Chaverim stands ready to assist offering its transport services as necessary. While it is almost impossible to prevent people from partaking in such behavior, there is a solution to keep friends and family safe.

The Chaverim of Queens Purim “Don’t Drink & Drive campaign,” which pioneered Purim of 2009, was founded to prevent the likelihood that someone will be tempted to drive while under the influence on this festive day. To prevent those who may be unfit to drive on Purim, Chaverim has “Volunteer Designated Drivers” available in Queens throughout Purim. This service can be requested by calling the Chaverim’s 24-hour hotline number: 718-441-0505.  “The hotline number should be publicized and shared,” said Chaverim co-founder Avigdor Cyperstein. “The community can enjoy Purim knowing that we are just a phone call away. As always, we remain on hand to respond calls including car troubles like lockouts, flat tires, boosts, among others, and home lockouts.”

The reality is that even one drink may impair your driving capabilities, even if you believe you are able to drive. Do not suffer the consequences of cloudy judgement. If you are an adult in the company of minors, act responsible when handling alcohol. Children are not accustomed to drinking, and the smallest amount consumed may result in unforeseen illness.

The Chaverim of Queens Purim “Don’t Drink & Drive” program is generously sponsored by Outsource USA, PEYD, Kamin Health, Elite Care, and Dr. Mark Ehrenpreis; and is dedicated in memory of R’ Moshe Nechemia ben R’ Shlomo Zev.

While we hope that no one needs our unique service, please save our hotline number as a phone contact, as the life you save may very well be your own! May we all be blessed with a happy, healthy, and most of all, safe Purim!

Chaverim is seeking and recruiting additional volunteers – for Purim as well as year-round. Please contact Chaverim for more information regarding dedication and sponsorship opportunities at chaverimofqueens@yahoo,com

By Shabsie Saphirstein, member, Chaverim of Queens