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Jewish organizations helping to bring holiday joy to children

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 11/13/2020 Sergio Carmona, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Volunteer, Amber Cantlay , left, and Founder of Legacy Closet, Margi Bre sort through donated donated childrens pajamas. The margate store where families in need can pick up clothing, partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for the children in need. © Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Volunteer, Amber Cantlay , left, and Founder of Legacy Closet, Margi Bre sort through donated donated childrens pajamas. The margate store where families in need can pick up clothing, partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for the children in need.

With the December holidays coming up in a challenging year for many families, South Florida Jewish organizations have stepped up to the plate to help bring joy to children in need through pajama or toy collections.

Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek’s Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac has partnered with the Legacy Closet in Margate to collect holiday-themed (Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza) pajamas for children.

The is the second year for a holiday pajama drive at the Legacy Closet, a store where families in need can pick up clothing. Local organizations and businesses partner as drop off sites. This is the first year that Tempe Beth Torah is a partner.

“We’re healing the world locally to families in need without any regard for what their background may be,” said Jody Glass, a volunteer with the synagogue’s Mitzvah Committee.

Glass said the Legacy Closet has been an easy organization for the synagogue to work with.

a woman sitting on a table: A volunteer with Legacy Closet in Margate sorts through donated children's pajamas. The store has partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for children in need. © Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS A volunteer with Legacy Closet in Margate sorts through donated children's pajamas. The store has partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for children in need.

“While this is the first time we’re partnering with them, we’re looking forward to partnering with them again in the future,” she noted.

Pamela LaFrance, a volunteer for the store, said, “This is a great way to involve everybody of all religions and all backgrounds.”

“You want to make those kids feels like they’re important," LaFrance continued. "Everybody wants a smile, and we want to make sure everybody wakes up in a good mood. With everything going in the world right now, it’s been tough for people, so we just want to bring something happy and pleasant for these families.”

LaFrance said last year 100 pajamas were distributed. The goal this year is to collect and distribute approximately 300.

Donations of pajamas ranging in size from newborn to children’s XXL are being accepted through Dec. 1. People can purchase pajamas for this drive on an Amazon wishlist. They can also drop them off at the synagogue, 5700 NW 94th Ave. in Tamarac, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Call the office ahead of time at 954-721-7660 to let the synagogue know you’re dropping them off.

a person sitting on a table: Legacy Closet volunteer Amber Cantlay sorts through donated children's pajamas. The Margate store has partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for children in need. © Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Legacy Closet volunteer Amber Cantlay sorts through donated children's pajamas. The Margate store has partnered with Temple Sha'arey Tzedek's Mitzvah Committee in Tamarac to collect holiday-themed pajamas for children in need.

Pajamas can also be dropped off at the store, 6000 W Atlantic Blvd. Suite 5 in Margate, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Visit facebook.com/tbtst, facebook.com/Thelegacycloset/ or thelegacycloset.org, or call the store at 954-470-1118 for more information.

Ruth & Norman Rales Rales Jewish Family Services in Boca Raton has started a holiday toy drive to help families struggling financially through the COVID-19 pandemic. People can purchase gifts off Rales JFS' Amazon wish list or make a monetary donation through Nov. 20.

“The pandemic has challenged us to think creatively in many ways and this is another example of how we were able to pivot so that those less fortunate would still have an enjoyable holiday season,” said Danielle Hartman, the agency’s president and chief executive officer. " By using Amazon wish lists, we actually expect a larger than normal participation rate from the community since they no longer have to physically go to one of our locations to select a child and gift."

Hartman continued, “We remain incredibly grateful to our generous community for supporting this effort so that all our children can have a positive experience during these most difficult times.”

Visit ralesjfs.org/toydrive for more information.

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©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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