It started out as an ethics lesson, a way for Yardley resident Rachael Oring to teach her three boys, ranging in age from 3 to 9, "that toys are not the most important part of our life."
As a member of the Beit El Synagogue's Social Action Committee, Oring helped cook meals once a month for senior citizens with difficult financial situations. Interested in doing more to help out, she learned that what these seniors really needed were breakfast packages.
So Oring immediately set to work creating a packaging station in her own basement and inviting friends to join in. Seven families from the Yardley area showed up, many of whom send their children to the local Abrams Hebrew Academy.
The parents stuffed the packages with orange juice, oatmeal, granola bars, tea, hot chocolate mix and many other foods that they had donated themselves. Meanwhile, the children made personalized cards to accompany the meals. Altogether, the volunteer "Breakfast Club" put together a hundred bagged meals that they passed along to the hunger relief programs at the Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia.
"I was hoping we could put together 30 or even 40 packages, so to put together 100 packages was really special," Oring exclaimed.
Beyond teaching their children the value of mitzvot, the families wanted to give back to a generation that has already given so much to them, said Oring, 38, who served as an unofficial spokesperson for the group.
"It was our turn to give back to the seniors that paved this wonderful life we live, who are struggling today," she said. "There is a reason why we are so fortunate in this world."
Oring said she received such an overwhelmingly positive response that she now hopes to make the newly founded "Breakfast Club" a regular thing. She and her husband plan to contact local supermarkets to see if they will donate food for future bagged meals.
For now at least, a hundred food packages with carefully hand-drawn and sticker-decorated cards will reach those in need just in time for the New Year.
Those interested in participating in future meal assembly sessions can email Rachel Oring at [email protected] .