Tuesday, December 28, 2010
MAOT CHITIM OF GREATER CHICAGO
This post traveled from St. Louis and Chicago to tell the very important story of a non-profit that Shira Engelhart and Taryn Ariel care about!
Isn’t that the new restaurant opening in Curry Hill?
Nope! The Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago enable thousands of needy people to experience the Passover holiday according to their tradition.
Instead of collecting money and distributing is, the money now goes to purchase wholesale food, thereby allowing the money to go farther and serve more people. The food boxes are packaged based on number of family members, and not just 1 per household.
Due to economic conditions, increases in the elderly population, and the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union - caused the number of recipient families to increase to over 5,000 families each year!
And Maot Chitim does not only serve it’s own mission: because of their excellent track record dealing with wholesale food purchases, they in turn help support other local organizations who work to provide food during the rest of the year!
So what does ‘Maot Chitim’ mean? ‘Maot Chitim’ refers to the custom of gathering wheat to provide the poor with the makings of matzo for Passover. Now, the Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago has evolved into a year-round volunteer effort organizing an army of volunteers, setting up a warehouse, locating recipients through social service agencies, packing the products, coordinating an orderly volunteer delivery system, delivering the packages and finally closing up and beginning the plans for the next holiday.
And the most special thing about this program? “Recipients are as hungry for some companionship as they are for the food. Sitting down for a visit is the heart of the program -- meaningful for those who deliver a package as for those who receive it.” Volunteers are encouraged to bring their families on the donation trips, and stay with the recipients for a meaningful cup of tea.
Isn’t that what the holidays are all about anyways?
Please visit www.maotchitim.org for more information.
Many thanks to Taryn and Shira, the duo you can always count on! Happy Holidays :)