Our Place’s massive 24-hour fundraising campaign last month turned out to be a smashing success, with the target of $100,000 in contributions met in a matter of hours.
The all-or-nothing fundraiser, which kicked off at noon on March 31 at Charidy.com, was an all-out effort to raise desperately needed monies for the community centers that provide a full array of services to troubled teens. Had the goal of $100,000 not been met within 24 hours, all contributions would have been returned to donors.
“We are thrilled to see how people came out so quickly in support of Our Place,” said Our Place’s executive director, Rabbi Aryeh Young. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed and to Friends of Our Place, Don Ghermezian, and the Multigroup of Companies, who matched all of the pledges we received.”
Our Place raised a total of $113,966 during the campaign, money that will help Our Place continue its lifesaving work.
“We need people to help us in our work,” said Rabbi Young. “We are the largest hands-on organization dealing with these kids day in and day out, and we make sure to be there for them in a wide variety of ways.”
Our Place helped over 1,000 at risk teens and young adults in 2014, intervening in over 100 cases of sexual abuse, placing more than 250 teens and young adults in rehabilitation programs, and intervening in over 150 arrests. An average of 100 teens visited Our Place’s drop-in centers each night last year, with 25,000 meals served. For some of those teens, it was the only meal they ate all day.
“Our Place is so much more than two (boys’ and girls’) drop-in centers,” said Yossi Yurowitz. “We placed 85 teens in jobs last year and also provide school placements. We have on-site therapists, recreational programming, deal with legal issues, and provide support to pregnant teens and abuse victims. How much do we charge for our services? Not a dime. We just do our best to shower these kids with all the love we can.”
The Living Room, Our Place’s young-adult sobriety program, has proved to be a lifeline for so many on the road to recovery. “A lot of people ask me why I go to The Living Room and what it does for me,” said one young woman from Passaic. “The Living Room is where my life began. It was where I made the decision to get clean. The Living Room became a home for me. It was a place for me to work on myself without leaving my Judaism behind. If not for The Living Room, I would be completely disconnected from Judaism and probably dead. Once I tell anyone that, they never ask again.”
The past few months have proven to be exceptionally busy for Our Place. “We have seen an exponential rise in overdoses and suicides in the frum community,” noted Rabbi Young. “We continue to do everything we can for our kids but we need the support of our community so that we can continue meeting those challenges every day.”
To learn more about Our Place, please contact Rabbi Young at 516-512-4494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.