Shluchim Rabbi Yehuda and Dinie Pink’s work with seniors in Solihull, UK, has earned them recognition from the Queen of England in the past, and more recently, during COVID, from the local mayor.
The quiet town of Solihull in the English Midlands is home to a higher than average number of senior citizens with over 25% of the population being over 65.
Since 1993 it has also been home to a dynamic Shluchim family; Rabbi Yehuda and Dinie Pink who have made work with the elderly an important part of their Shlichus.
In 2005 they founded the The Thursday Club that provides award-winning activities for senior citizens. In 2014, their work was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen when they were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service; the highest recognition that can be given to a charity.
There are no kosher stores or restaurants in Solihull so at the best of times it is a struggle to access kosher food. In 2020 when COVID-19 hit, England went into lockdown shutting many essential services including The Thursday Club. The Shluchim sprang into action cooking, packaging and delivering nutritious homemade meals to vulnerable people across the area and have continued ever since.
Over the past year, a dedicated team of volunteers have clocked up a staggering 6790 miles, delivering over 8,000 meals in addition to the 3,253 meals served at the Chabad House! Many of the volunteers have previously had no contact with their Jewish heritage.
All of this has not gone unnoticed in the local area with Rebbetzin Pink being voted honoured by the Mayor as a ‘Community Hero’ for her untiring work during the pandemic and beyond.
Rabbi Yehuda Pink shares, “The Rebbe always taught us in Chabad we expand, we don’t shut down. So now in addition to our pre-COVID activities, we are continuing to provide help for those who are house bound. It’s clearly so much more than just a meal, it’s the sense of belonging, of being part of a family. Volunteers assist with shopping, collecting medication and providing much needed friendship to all seniors to ensure that although they are at home, they do not feel abandoned and alone.”
In the words of some of those touched by the Shluchim: “During these troubling times, receiving a kosher meal reminds me how important it is to be part of the Jewish community.” “I am overcome with emotion on seeing a Pesach package on my doorstep.” “Thank you for the wonderful meals and visits. They really help me feel less alone.”
The Shluchim are responsible for a large area with many small towns and villages containing one or two Jews. There’s the retired fruit and vegetable market seller from Evesham who put on tefillin for the first time in 60 years. The retired professor in Royal Leamington Spa who hadn’t eaten meat in 9 months because he was housebound and had no access to kosher food. A war veteran in his late 90s living in Olton alone and unable to cook for himself anymore. The Art Gallery owner who from Henley in Arden rediscovered his Jewish identity. These are the faces of Chabad of Solihull.
Feeding triple the number of people then pre-pandemic has come at a high cost. With prices of food and packaging skyrocketing, £50,000 is needed to enable this vital work to continue to make a difference to people’s lives. By partnering with us today, you will impact their lives and reach many more.
DONATE BELOW! www.charityextra.com/solihull
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