Women in the Rivertowns recently found a good cause for a girls’ night out: sorting and packing supplies for Afya Foundation, a medical supply recovery organization. The evening took place at the Shames JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown, which has allocated space in the coming months for sorting-and-packing volunteer events to ensure that much-needed supplies get to those in vulnerable parts of the world, thanks to a grant from UJA-Federation of New York. The event was co-sponsored by UJA-Federation’s Rivertowns Women and the Shames JCC.
Since Hurricane Maria, UJA has proudly partnered with Afya and the Greater New York Hospital Association to arrange 29 flights and a cargo ship to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to deliver desperately needed supplies. At the event, Afya Founder and Executive Director Danielle Butin spoke about her organization’s response in the aftermath of the storm and the devastation that remains.
Guests brought supplies for those still shattered by the hurricane, including adult diapers, Chux (disposable underpads to cover mattresses), Ensure, toothbrushes, toothpaste and hair combs.
“A personal crisis can take a lot of forms: a chronic illness, a mental challenge, job loss, homelessness. But a disaster also can strike a whole community and even an entire region. Natural disasters, terror, violence and hatred shatter millions of lives each year,” said Event Co-Chair Amy Bendell of Ardsley, who noted that since 2005, UJA has invested $81 million to bring urgent relief to those on the ground and aid long-term recovery. “Our essential relationships with hundreds of nonprofits worldwide make us agile and ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.”
Chairing the event with Bendell were Deborah Nathan-Fuchs, Shara Sheinberg and Sarah Stern, all of Irvington.
By Yvette Finkelstein