After Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Cotton States region of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, members of the international youth group mobilized in response.
The region, which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, started a national campaign encouraging the 500 BBYO chapters nationally to do fundraisers and collect supplies.
The national organization established a website, www.bbyocares.org, where teen-created ‘Hurricane Relief’ t-shirts are being sold with all of the proceeds going to The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, with the option for additional donations to UJC’s fund. In the first month, about 1500 shirts were sold.
“It is at difficult times like this that I am reminded of the significance of our work,” said Matthew Grossman, the executive director of BBYO, Inc. “To witness a community of thousands of young people committed to carrying out the values and ideals that have been a part of the Jewish people for generations is truly inspiring.”
To help bring some semblance of normalcy back into the lives of many Jewish teens impacted by the hurricane, BBYO has instituted a policy waiving all membership and program fees and offering additional scholarships to all displaced Jewish teens wishing to take part in BBYO experiences.