Robbie and Judy Schonfeld have been dedicating their hearts, souls and fund raising efforts for over a decade to bring the greatest joy and absolute happiness and hope to the Chaiyanu children who are fighting for their live in battling cancer and their families every Chanukah. The Ossie Schonfeld Memorial Chanukah Toy Fund is in memory of Robbie’s Father who only concern in his life was that there be joy in every Jewish soul.
The “Toy Angels” as they have been crowned by thousands of people all over Israel who receive such amazing gifts ranging from WII’s, play stations, lap tops, bicycles and every type of Fisher Price and Little Tikes that has ever been manufactured. Cameras video recorders, trampolines, Lego, play mobiles and the list never ends. Robbie and Judy shop till they drop, pack up close to 300 boxes, and ships the presents to Israel arriving just in time for Chanukah. The Schonfeld’s who land in Israel a few days before Chanukah to coordinate the massive mission of delivery over Chanukah are joined by Neal Goldberg’s Lev Leytzan clowns traveling house to house party to party giving out the gifts. Led by and coordinated by Chaiyanu volunteers Chanukah 2014 now begins and will be one of the most heartwarming and blissful eight days in the lives of thousands of children in Israel.
Here is a letter Chaiyanu received from one of the mothers:
Last summer we had no summer vacation in fact when we woke up the night mare was just beginning. Our seven year old daughter Miri was diagnosed with Cancer. We couldn’t even say the word not for religious reasons rather for the fear that we would make it worse. The first week in the hospital I look to busy to allow anyone to speak to me buy the reality was I didn’t want to speak to anyone and for sure didn’t want anyone to speak to me. When a Chaiyanu volunteer brought me a whole pizza pie and my daughter a basket of fruit and a basket of candy and a basket of toys and games I had to respond. However the volunteer said you don’t have to say anything and you probably don’t want to talk so don’t and she walked away. Well I was blown away how did he know how could she know what was going through my mind, the truth is ever since then Chaiyanu always knows what going through our minds and we are so close we just each other family.
Then right after Succos I get from Chaiyanu an email a fax and a envelope given to me in the hospital all the same material to fill out. What was it? It is a form for a wish list of what my daughter, Miri wants for Chanukah and not only that but there is a place to fill in all of Miri’s siblings because they will be getting presents as well. Blown away again (there has been plenty of episodes that have blown us all away but I want to share with you our Chanukah miracle).
It took a few days for Miri to pick her gift, one of those gigantic doll houses that you have to build a room for in your hose to set it up, but that was her wish.
Those two months were horrible for Miri and our night mare was getting worse before Chanukah she wasn’t even walking and our fears were getting the best if us.
We couldn’t make it to the Chaiyanu Chanukah party, we did send some of the other children with a volunteer, they had a wonderful time, singing dancing with the clowns, getting red clown noses stuck on all over themselves, eating doughnuts that they send never stop coming. When the volunteers brought the children they asked if they could come over the next evening after candle lighting, I told them they should call tomorrow because I wasn’t sure if Miri would be up to it she was really out of it. As they left I changed my mind I have no idea why but I told them to call anyway, maybe I changed my mind after looking at the children’s faces drop when I said they should call first. In any case that was what I decided, come.
Miri was not feeling too well and still not walking; we lit our Chanukah candles, a bit too somber, I felt, but we tried to do our best. Twenty minutes later the children start yelling Chaiyanu and the clowns they are coming up the steps, Miri sat in her wheel chair with the same drawn face.
Blown away is not the word this time. Clowns with guitars jumping up and down, singing and grabbing the children and swirling and twirling around, there are twp volunteers holding this gigantic box and others holding three big blue bags and more and more are coming in like the scene with endless amount of clowns coming out of a small car. Miri’s Chaiyanu volunteers, Robbie and Judy Schonfeld followed the clowns as they sang and danced and then…
As they were holding Miri’s Chanukah wish her gigantic doll house with others hold tens of different types of dolls our Chanukah miracle happened right there and then…
Miri got out of her wheel chair all by herself and walked over to clowns to get her wish!! And that Chanukah night was the night all of our wishes came through and our nightmare began its way out of our lives. Miri in the coming months improved tremendously and never stops play with her doll house and we never stop looking at the doll house that instilled joy and hope back into our lives.
I cannot thank Chaiyanu enough for all the great moments they have brought into our lives and the spectacular people that did everything for us on that Chanukah to Robbie and Judy Schonfeld and Neil Goldberg and his Lev Laytzan group of clowns we will never forget what you did for our Miri and our lives.