It wasn’t quite 8 a.m. when I arrived at the INN soup kitchen in Hempstead with two large bags of bagels to drop off. Standing quietly on the sidewalk near the front door of the soup kitchen was a handful of people—some of which I recognized from previous early morning arrivals.
There was “Ernie,” a Viet Nam Vet, wearing his trademark black parka, with the hood pulled tight over his ears, and his gloved hands stuffed deep inside the parka’s pockets. There was “Martha”, a grandmother living on Social Security checks that just don’t go far enough to provide enough food for herself, her daughter, and granddaughter. And there was “Alvin”, who works for a landscaper most of the year, and sleeps on a friend’s couch when he can, and in the park when he can’t.
For starters, letters generally must be between 300 and 500 words. We do believe that almost any point of view should be adequately covered in 500 words or less. And we want to ensure that we have space for all news and all opinions.
“Chris” and “Jane” had “worked all their lives” and had always “provided for their family.” Two years ago Chris lost his job and was unable to find new employment. When they couldn’t make their mortgage payments, their home went into foreclosure, and eventually they were forced to leave it.
At our house, we rake our own leaves, so we feel very connected to this ritual. It is a lot of work. Like impetuous children, every year deciduous trees “thoughtlessly” drop their payload upon our lawns and driveways, leaving it for us to pick up several times before winter - leaving lasting soreness on our backs (or wallets). Last year we ultimately filled 23 huge black bags with leaves.
We thank John Hirsch for his sharing his gift with the Great Neck Record.
And we wish all of our readers of the Jewish faith a happy, a healthy, a joyous Chanukah.
- Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
My grandmother was fond of saying that there are miracles all around us if we only opened our eyes to see them. But I wasn’t thinking about miracles last week when I walked into the Deer Park office of one of my customers. Their company did fine art packing for many of the largest museums and art dealers in New York City. Like many other companies I call on, they had experienced slowing business conditions which had led to the reduction of their staff from 12 employees to only six.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very happy Thanksgiving. We wish you a peaceful, satisfying day with family and friends. We wish you time to sit back, reflect, and give thanks for all that you have. And we wish the fulfillment of all of your hopes and dreams for the brightest possible future.
A friend showed this to me and it grabbed me by the heart. “During a lesson on nutrition, a school teacher asked his class to raise their hands if they had had breakfast that morning. About half the kids raised their hands. Then the teacher asked his students if they didn’t have breakfast because it’s not what their family does. The rest of the students raised their hands except for one boy. The teacher asked him why he didn’t have breakfast. The boy answered, ‘Today wasn’t my turn.’ ”
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