Chaverim of Queens started in January 2008 with just 10 volunteers and 3-4 calls a day. Entering their 5th year, they now have over 40 volunteers who have responded to thousands of calls for assistance throughout the Queens area.
Chaverim of Queens, founded In memory of Mr. Jack Friedman a”h, a noted Askan, well known for his tremendous acts of Chesed, has lived up to its namesake establishing itself as a reliable organization attentive to the needs of the Community.
The acts of chesed that the volunteers of this organization do on a daily basis, does not go unnoticed by those who have benefited from the assistance provided. “Not one day has gone by since we started, where I have not received at least one thank you letter from someone who called for help” said Coordinator, AvigdorCyperstein.
Aside from the regular services provided, Chaverim of Queens has made a name for itself when it established the Purim “Don’t Drink and Drive campaign” which pioneered Purim of 2009.
We are unfortunately aware of the amount of drinking (and in many cases dangerously excessive) that takes place within our communities on Purim. Anyone you speak to can tell you of someone they know, or a story they heard of that involved some type of incident related to “out-of-control” drinking on Purim. The minor and the major accidents related to drunk driving are kept quiet but DO HAPPEN!
While it is almost impossible to prevent people from partaking in excessive drinking there are other solutions to keep our community as safe and responsible as possible.
The Chaverim of Queens Purim program was founded to prevent the likelihood that someone willchasvesholom be tempted to drive while under the influence on this festive day. A special hotline number was established and volunteers were dispatched to drive individuals who were not safe to get behind the wheel. The program was met with tremendous success and even included individuals from the community who volunteered just for the Purim program even though they were not established members of Chaverim. One of the volunteers even drove someone from Queens all the way to his home in Brooklyn to make sure they got there safely.
Following the success of the last 3 years,Chaverim of Queens is once againpreparing for this years “Don’t Drink and Drive” Purim campaign.
The “Don’t Drink and Drive”program was created to prevent people who may be unfit to drive by offering those individuals a sober driver to get them home safely when no other driver is available. Signs advertising the Hot line number have already been posted throughout the community letting everyone know that once again, Chaverim of Queens has stepped up to the plate and is offering this wonderful service again this year.
“By putting this program together, we know as well as every parent, wife, and friend that the people they care about will have a safe night and won’t be in a position to make any mistakes” said Chaverim coordinator AvigdorCyperstein. “The purim hot line number should be publicized and shared with as many people as possible so if needed, everyone can be assured that were just a phone call away”.
The dispatcher number assigned for the Chaverim of Queens “Don’t Drink and Drive” Purim campaign is 347-684-1155.
You may be planning to go around to visit some friends but aren’t planning to drink, a designated driver for a group of tzedakah collectors, or participating in a group that will be collecting, the opportunity and pressure to drink is unfortunately enticing. If you or someone you know has been drinking and is planning to get behind the wheel PLEASE call (or text) 347-684-1155to have a volunteer from the Chaverim of Queens Purim program come, pick you up and drive you to your destination, within the Queens area. The only information the dispatcher will need is the pickup and drop-off address and a callback number while all your information remains confidential.
Please save this number as you never know whose life it may save. It may just be your own.
The Organization is especially seeking volunteers for any part of Purim whether someone is available to volunteer as a driver Purim night or day, or even for a small amount of time. “The beauty of this program is that it is not restricted to full time year round Chaverim volunteers. Anyone who is available for even the smallest amount of time is requested to call or email us right away and we will set them up with a temporary Chaverim unit number just for Purim” stated Rabbi AloniRussek, coordinator for Chaverim of Queens. “This is an incredible opportunity for anyone who wouldlike to be a part of the well-established Chaverim organization or even someone who simply just wants to chip in and do some Chesed”.
The organization is in full recruitment mode once again for Volunteers who can take calls during the daytime and evening hours throughout the year as well asvolunteers for the Purim “Don’t Drink and Drive” program.
Even if you are available for just a few hours over Purim day, do not hesitate to contact Chaverim to sign up as volunteer for this unique program. If you or someone you know would like to apply to be a member of this worthy organization, please email ChaverimofQueens@yahoo.com or call 347-684-1155. “There is no better time to join than now” said Rabbi Russek , “The organization has reached a milestone and is only growing and getting stronger from this point forward”.
This year’s program is sponsored by PERSONAL TOUCH HOME HEALTH SERVICES – The Home Health agency that Millions have trusted for over 39 years. They can be reached at 855-206-4309 or www.pthomecare.com.
Chaverim of Queens has also established a special Purim fundraising initiative this year to raise money so they can adequately supply 10 new members with equipment over the next few months. This initiative was created as the call volume continues to rise and the need for new equipment and additional volunteers has become a necessity.As the spirit of Purim is upon us, please take advantage by taking the time out to make a charitable donation which will help us to continue to grow.For more information on how to make a donation or for sponsorship opportunities please email ChaverimofQueens@yahoo.com or callAvigdorCyperstein at 347-684-1155.