By Casey Tilles
On December 8, Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor is going to sponsor a midnight run to benefit the homeless in New York City. Although the run takes place on one Saturday night, CSI will be preparing for this important effort over many weeks. The entire community gets involved by donating items to distribute and by packing the donated items and preparing meals for the homeless. Packing up the items begins at 8pm that evening and volunteers are always appreciated.
CSI has been involved with Midnight Run for over eight years. The Midnight Run is a volunteer organization that was started in 1984 by a church group in Dobbs Ferry. The main purpose of this active community-based organization is to help meet the basic needs of the homeless in New York City. Volunteers offer companionship and are committed to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless.
Since its small beginnings, Midnight Run has grown to a collaboration of more than 150 community organizations including churches, synagogues, schools and many more groups. Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who dedicate themselves to Midnight Run, the organization is able to execute over a thousand relief missions per year. Midnight Run volunteers hope that as a result of their efforts they can make a difference in the lives of the homeless and the homeless can see that people care about them.
“It is a very powerful experience and the best part is making personal connections and sharing these moments with the people we are helping,” said Molly Charney, a junior at Briarcliff High School who has participated in several Midnight Runs.
If you are interested in participating, contact Beverly Sarkozi at CSI, 914-762-6496 or email her at YouthEducator@csibriarcliff.org. CSI will be collecting clothing items for men such as coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, dark pants or jeans, socks, long johns, t-shirts and shoes. For women, coats and some other clothes items are needed but to a lesser extent. Items needed to prepare meals for the homeless include rolls, bottled water, juice boxes, canisters of hot chocolate, bananas, cookie dough, brownie mix, sandwich bags, garbage bags and napkins. In addition, toiletries such combs, razors and travel size soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorants and shaving cream are needed. All contributions will be greatly appreciated.