Rabbi Mordechai and Meechal Roizman were inspired by what they saw while volunteering in the relief effort after Hurricane Sandy. Among other things, they learned that major corporations were donating surplus merchandise to charities such as United Way and Red Cross who, in turn, distributed them to families in need.
A little research revealed that the Jewish community was not tapping into this amazing resource. To participate, an infrastructure to receive, warehouse, and distribute large quantities of goods was necessary but simply did not exist.
Using their own financial resources, with support and guidance from The Afikim Foundation, the Roizmans founded the National Council of Jewish Charities, now known as Olam Chesed. As a leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, they partner with socially responsible partners to source highly needed goods and distribute them to people in need.
U.S corporations such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond, La-Z-Boy, Amazon, Tempurpedic, and Samsung, just to name a few. These corporations donate more than 9 billion dollars of products per year.
Olam Chesed is the only Jewish organization that harnesses this tremendous resource to benefit needy individuals and families in our communities.
We receive goods directly from the donors in 53 foot tractor-trailers. In addition to these truckload donations, Olam Chesed rents a box truck 2-3 times per week to pick up merchandise from warehouses and stores. For example, each week drivers pick up from 17 stores and in the coming months we will be contracting with at least a dozen more locations.
Each week we turn away thousands of dollars worth of merchandise because even though the goods are free, the trucking, man power, and operational costs are not. More funds mean that we can help more families.
The goods are brought to our 50,000 square foot warehouse facility, located in Haverstraw, NY. Our staff, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, sort, organize products and distribute them to those in need. These products are distributed to partner organizations for local distribution in the tristate area, including Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, Queens, Passaic, Monsey, and Lakewood. Olam Chesed has been able to help thousands of individuals, directly, or through a network of partner charities, such as various Tomchei Shabbos locations, HASC, and Jewish Family Services, just to name a few.
*Helping Non-Profits Help Others
Olam Chesed has helped dozens of non-profits which help the youth, needy and ill. Organizations such as HASC, Tomchei Shabbos, Bikur Cholim, Jewish Family Services, People to People, HALB, Womens League and Yedei Chesed are just a few to receive merchandise for a small administrative fee. These are goods that they would have otherwise have had to purchase at a cost of thousands of dollars.
*When Unexpected Crisis Strikes
Olam Chesed also helps families experiencing personal crises, such as job loss, fires to their homes, illness or a death in the family.
When a natural disaster strikes, Olam Chesed springs into action, lining up supplies for the relief effort. We are able to leverage our existing relationships with corporate donors and national charities to bring these desperately needed goods to the affected communities at no cost.
During Hurricane Harvey, nine tractor-trailers were sent to Houston. Water, cleaning supplies, bedding, diapers, personal hygiene products and much more were distributed to those recovering from the horrendous flooding.
For individual families, Olam Chesed creates a “Shopping” experience at our Warehouse. Families in need are treated with dignity, generosity and respect at Olam Chesed. “Shoppers” can walk through the Olam Chesed warehouse and choose what they need from a large selection of high-quality merchandise, such as bedding, furniture, paper goods and other basic supplies, helping to turn their “house” into a “home.”
Did You Know:
That in 2016, 300 families were helped
In 2017, 600 families were helped
In 2018, 1000 families were helped