The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 24 January 2004 / 1 Shevat 5764

The Coat Merry-Go-Round

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

One of the beautiful features of religious communal life in Israel is the service provided by the used clothes centers popularly known as gemachim (GEMilAt CHassadim). These centers receive used clothes from local contributors and foreign charitable organizations and distribute them to needy families, or offer them for sale at token prices and then apply the income to other charitable projects.

In their haste to clear their homes of long-unused clothes families sometimes mistakenly place in the packages they bring to centers an item which is currently in use. A woman recently called the Kiryat Mattersdorf, Jerusalem branch of the "Beged Yad Leyad" network of used clothes centers to report that she had mistakenly included her young daughters coat in the package she had brought there. She could not afford to buy a new coat and when informed by the centers director that it was virtually impossible to locate her daughters coat in the mountains of clothes to be sorted, the distraught lady put in a request to buy a used girls coat if one turned up in the sorting process. It wasnt long before such a coat became available and reached its happy customer. Then came another call from this lady to the director, laughingly informing her that the coat she received was exactly the one she had mistakenly given away!

Jews visiting Israel are invited to bring along with them used clothes the customs charged makes shipping them impractical and contact Mrs. Sheindel Weinbach at 02-537-2303 for details on delivery.

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