The following letter was submitted to TLS by Achiezer. Urgent Letter to the Klal. Three weeks post-Sandy. Far Rockaway, the Five Towns, Long Beach, Belle Harbor, Bayswater and surrounding Long Island communities are still awash in the agony of families whose homes are unlivable. The telling strain of living as daily guests in the homes of others is beginning to erode their very foundations. Displaced children are far from their own schools. They are not able to take even the most fundamental steps needed to pick up the pieces of their lives as they must come to grips with the “new normal” they face.
To date, Achiezer has given out over $1,300,000 during Phase I in which emergency funds have been disbursed to nearly 530 families in the aftermath of the first weeks. The $2,000-$3,000 disbursed to families only covered the basics like food and generators despite tremendous losses of homes, belongings and pay checks. The critical task three weeks after the devastation is to get these families back home before the fabric of their lives unravels further. They face the daunting challenge of getting their homes and lives operational again. In order to facilitate this goal in the most expedient manner possible, Achiezer has begun Phase II.
Operation Coming Home is a community assistance program that helps to repair homes and gives immediate cash assistance of up to $10,000. Consequently, Achiezer needs $5,000,000 to address the rebuilding efforts of as many as 500 families so that, at the very least, families can take the difficult first steps of replacing boilers, removing pervasive mold, and replacing sheet rock. Even with contractors providing work at cost, the expenses are overwhelming.
Go to http://www.achiezer.org/ to see a heart-rending video demonstrating the challenges Achiezer is helping these families overcome. Your ongoing monetary support is vital to help these families get back on their feet.
Please respond by donating in any amount at https://www.achiezer.org/donate.php or calling our hotline (516) 791-4444. May your participation be a zechus for you and all of Klal Yisroel.
Rabbi Baruch Bender – Director/Founder, Achiezer
Rabbi Yaakov Bender – Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah
Rabbi Zvi Bloom – Executive Director, Torah Umesorah
Rabbi David Greenblatt – Davis Memorial Fund
Rabbi Yehiel Kalish – National Director of Government Affairs, Agudath Israel of America