Since it's the season for giving as well as receiving, I'd like to tell you about two non-profit organizations here in New York which are close to my heart (I serve on the board of each). The first one (I'll post about the 2nd one soon) is The Blue Card, an organization I learned about from my late grandparents (they were the "original" R & S, and my children are named in their memory). They escaped Nazi Germany at the last minute in the late 1930s and met and married here in NYC. They arrived penniless and The Blue Card- established in 1934- helped Jewish refugees just like them. These immigrants faced enormous challenges in building new lives, but did so with a deep appreciation for their freedoms. To this day, The Blue Card serves the needs of Holocaust survivors and refugees from Nazi persecution, a group of elderly people whose needs skyrocket as they age. Many Blue Card clients live at or below the poverty level, and cash grants from the Blue Card pay for things as simple as groceries, eyeglasses, and transportation to and from doctors' appointments. Many of them suffer mental health problems such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by the events of 9/11.
I have proudly served on the Board of The Blue Card for four years now, and I take seriously the job of spreading the word about this small but outstanding organization. I do this especially in memory of my grandparents, and especially on a day today- the 1st night of Hanukkah- when I am lucky enough to have the freedom to celebrate the holiday with my own "R & S".
Please take a moment to visit The Blue Card and learn about how you can help. Happy Hanukkah.
Those of you who know this practicing writer and my writing know how much my grandparents meant to me and how much they've inspired my work. So there you have it: My contribution to The Generous December Writing Group Project is The Blue Card.