The Thank You Hashem brand has successfully found volunteer hosts for their signature Mitzvah Corners to spread the light of mitzvos to all. Queens was proudly added to that list on Sunday, November 5. Naomi’s Pizza and Falafel’s expansive sukkah structure has had new life, first as a collection site for essentials for IDF troops, and now as the TYH Mitzvah Corner for two Sundays running. The Queens organizer, a vivacious young woman, sought to bring the program to Main Street as a way for children to make a profound kiddush Hashem by participating in the merits being stacked up as a z’chus for the chayalim on the frontlines and the citizens of Eretz Yisrael who have been displaced or put at risk of injury.
“Our first event followed the Queens Asifa,” the organizer expressed. “The attendees were on a spiritual high eager to be involved in the world of chesed and mitzvos and be part of the community.” She noted that all ages of youth came by and some even took upon themselves kabalos for the year ahead as a merit for the situation in Israel. “The Queens community really came out making a grand kidush Hashem as they grabbed the opportunity to be involved in performing mitzvos in whatever way possible.”
Partaking in mitzvos entitled the children to spin a prize wheel revealing gifts like nosh and toys. Tzedakah collected will be used for Chanukah gifts for children of displaced families in Eretz Yisrael.
The program, boosted by upbeat tunes loaded with TYH songs that represent being a proud Jew, encouraged the recitation of brachos, tzedakah, and the thoughtful gesture of penning an encouraging letter to an IDF soldier in exchange for #TYH merch, like wristbands, stickers, key chains, and exciting prizes. Crowds of boys and girls filled the outdoor space, to capacity making the program a widespread success that demanded the need for an encore a week later. Snacks like grape juice, muffins, popcorn, Gushers, grapes, and clementines were just some of the Brachos Party foods available. Additionally, Naomi’s provided pizza and falafel balls. The children enunciated the brachos clearly and aloud to further encourage an atmosphere of mitzvos when those in earshot responded, “Amen!”
Some children went above and beyond and created candygrams as an extra sweet measure of expressing thanks to the selfless soldiers from our corner in America. The overall event was a beautiful show of what it means to be part of a community like Queens that embraces its Torah values, and moreover be a representative of the Jewish nation where children find a palpable joy in doing a good deed.
Jewish-owned Main Street businesses contributed nicely to the program. From Naomi’s to their neighbor Queens Pita, donations kept coming in. Pizza Professor, Elite Café, Seasons Kosher, Max and Mina’s Ice Cream, Wasserman’s Supermarket, Urban Press, Benjy’s Pizza, Kandi Kastle, Gift World, Annie’s Kitchen, and 7-11 each provided an incentive for the kids.
The organizer was assisted by one of Chaverim of Queens and Great Neck’s dedicated volunteers in her efforts to bring the program to fruition.
By Shabsie Saphirstein