Sid Jacobson JCC hosts food drives, blood drives
By Jennifer Corr
The U.S. Department of Interior defines the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which fell on Jan. 16 this year, as a day on, not off, where Americans are encouraged to participate in service activities that benefit that community.
And to honor Dr. King’s dedication to service and making a difference, the UJA Federation of New York mobilized service projects across New York City, Long Island and Westchester, including service projects here in Greenvale at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center (JCC). Volunteers packaged food and other supplies that would be donated to the Sid Jacobson JCC food pantry and the surrounding community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters was also on site to collect clothing, and the National Alliance of Mental Illness collected shoes. Hundreds of pairs of shoes were collected, and all the clothing collected could not fit into the Big Brothers Big Sisters truck. People also lined up to donate blood to the New York Blood Center during an emergency blood shortage.
“The Sid Jacobson JCC has held MLK Day events for years,” said Danny Capps, an employee at Sid Jacobson JCC. “It was a lovely event. Seeing the faces of the kids and adults light up, learn something, work together and make a difference, it was truly inspiring.”
Capps said adults who were off from work, and children who were off from school, took their time off and came to the center to help their community. There were also opportunities to learn; as movie Our Friend Martin and a webinar from the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called “Building Bridges: Black and Jewish Voices” were shown. Children were encouraged to do crafts that embodied the spirit of the day.
“I really enjoyed that there was a bunch of hands on the wall, I thought that was inspiring and I really enjoyed reading everyone’s quotes,” Gabriela Leder said of the craft. “I really also liked the movie they were playing.”
Sofia Leder said she enjoyed packing the food and writing positive messages on the bags the food was packed in, which will ultimately brighten the recipients’ day.