Blog  NFTY-STR: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

NFTY-STR: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

By Jordan Brown, NFTY-STR Member

It is a cool, sunny Thanksgiving morning and waking up is the best feeling of all. Family is home, the turkey is in the oven, and everything seems perfect. The story of Thanksgiving starts with the pilgrims coming to Plymouth in the 17th century, the Native Americans with the “ownership of the land” did not approve at first of the pilgrims impending and intruding on their own land. But both tribes became sociable and taught each other different skills. At the end of the story, they both ate a meal together in which they say Thanks for the wonderful possessions in life and spend a time to appreciate what they have; compared to what they wish they had. In life, it is good to give back for what you have. I consider it my obligation as a Jew to give back to the world that has given me so much.

Each year, on Thanksgiving morning, I do just that. My name is Jordan Brown and I run a Thanksgiving program with over 100 participants each year for a cause close to my heart. My family, friends, and NFTY-STR community show up each thanksgiving to have fun, while raising funds for the Slomin Family Center for Autism and Spectrum Related Disabilities. We run 3 games, two challenging and one a little more laid back. Kids from age 8, all the way up to men in their 60’s “strap up” to win that Turkey Bowl. The Slomin Family Center is a pre-school, and an after care center for students that have a rare case of Autism or other types learning disabilities. The students in the program get more individual attention to help them advance their learning, compared to a public school classroom that could have 30 students per class. Last year, when the Slomin Center opened, we donated money to boost their center to start growing and succeeding. This year, we are donating money toward the Slomin Center purchasing iPads for students to advance their skills.

I hope that each of you reading this gives back in your own way during this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!