Read the article below written by Lanning Taliaferro, published in the Patch, on Masbia Soup Kitchen Network Executive Director Alexander Rapaport the main organizer for the relief effort. Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder joined Rapaport to help load two trucks with food and cleaning supplies bound for Afghan refugees currently in New Jersey.
Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder joined Masbia CEO Alexander Rapaport to help load two trucks with food and cleaning supplies bound for Afghan refugees currently living at Fort Dix in New Jersey.
"The plight of these refugees strikes close to home because I had grandparents who also needed a safe country until they were taken in by America," Legislator Wieder said. "These refugees, like my relatives 70-plus years ago, are completely reliant on the goodwill and generosity of others to survive. I am so grateful for the chance to be able to help in any way I can."
Masbia Soup Kitchen Network Executive Director Alexander Rapaport is the main organizer for the relief effort. Legislator Wieder and Rapaport worked together on a similar relief effort in August, collecting food and other items and loading two truck trailers in Spring Valley that were shipped to Haiti in the aftermath of an Aug. 14 earthquake.
"Can you imagine struggling to get a plane ride out of a city as it is falling, not knowing where you are going or how you will survive when you get there," Rapaport said. "This uncertainty is exactly what the survivors of the Holocaust experienced. We want to be able to help people who are running from war zones. We want them to know that we understand and share their pain and that we will help in whatever way we can."
An estimated 9,000 Afghan refugees are currently living at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a U.S. military base they refer to as "Liberty Village." The refugees fled as the capital city of Kabul fell to the Taliban in August. They are being vetted before being allowed to resettle to relatives' homes or other locations.
Rapaport's father, Yosef Rapaport, and several volunteers also assisted with loading the trucks. They also wrote or spray-painted messages on each box – "With Love from the Jewish Community" and "Welcome to the USA" among them.
Boxes of rice, tomato sauce, and chips, and other snacks, donated by Dependable Food, and hand sanitizers and wipes, donated by Future Diagnostics USA, were loaded into the trucks and sent to Fort Dix. Donations will also be delivered to Jersey City, where some Afghan refugees have already settled.
The trucks made a pit stop at Yapchik restaurant in Lakewood, N.J., owned by Rapaport's brother, Berish, who donated waffle mixes and cereal for the weekly Sunday waffle breakfast at Fort Dix. They were met by Lakewood Deputy Mayor Menashe Miller.
Legislator Wieder said the relief effort shows how much can be accomplished even when a challenge seems daunting.
"Many people gave a little and some people gave more, but together, we were able to fill two large trucks with items we know these refugees will use and more importantly, we were able to provide something that sends a message: 'We understand what you are going through, we welcome you to America and we will help where we can.'"
Read the original article HERE.