(December 22, 2019 / JNS) A rabbi and his sons in Louisville, Ky., have pledged to do acts of kindness for 18,000 people in 2020 in honor of those who lost their lives to violence, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, regional director for Chabad of Kentucky, based in Louisville, will officially launch a new charity program called Project Friendship on Sunday—the first night of Hanukkah.
Project Friendship will honor the martyrs of 2019 by “illuminating the lives of 18,000 people throughout the Commonwealth by distributing over $5 million of new clothing and shoes to the poor and needy of Kentucky,” said Litvin. “In the world that we’re living in today, there are many different forms of darkness: poverty, hate, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry. Our goal with Project Friendship is to invigorate, energize and support each other.”
“Friendship Corners” have been set up in clinics across Kentucky for people who need clothing, much of which comes from online returns from companies such as Amazon and Target, making all the items brand-new. The charity picks up items donated by companies at nearby distribution centers, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
The $5 million worth of clothes they hope to give away in the next year will the organization about $100,000 in warehousing, trucking and distribution costs.
Project Friendship is also partnering with state organizations, such as foster care and the Kentucky Justice Department, to help distribute new coats and shoes. They hope one day to have a mobile truck filled with items they can distribute across the state.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson—“inspired Chabad leaders across the world to respond to darkness with light and constantly seek opportunities to help their communities,” said Litvin, who became an emissary serving the Jews of Kentucky 1985. “This is our way of doing that this Hanukkah season.”
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