On Sunday morning, August 28, Staples in Hackensack held exclusive shopping hours for friends of SINAI Schools. SINAI parent and volunteer for the event Malkie Schick staffed a table with doughnuts and coffee for all of the shoppers, and over 200 people from the community came out to show their support for SINAI Schools and to do their back-to-school shopping without the long lines. Store manager Edwar Malak had a full staff available to assist the shoppers, and expressed his pleasure at being able to show support for SINAI in this way.
SINAI’s Dean Rabbi Yisrael Rothwachs expressed his gratitude to Staples.
“SINAI’s relationship with Staples goes beyond this single event,” he said, “ which in and of itself meant so much to our families and the community at large. It was yet another illustration of how, from their corporate office down to the staff at their Hackensack store, Staples shows special consideration and sensitivity to individuals with special needs and their families.”
Staples has been a vocational training site for SINAI students for a number of years.
The event was prompted by a donation made by Tzvi and Erica Solomon, and matched by Tzvi’s parents Yitzie and Yosepha Solomon. The Solomons, recognizing that SINAI families often face additional financial hurdles in providing for a child or multiple children with special needs, provided gift cards to all of the SINAI students for school supplies. “ I’m inspired by the Solomons’ donations to SINAI Schools because it touches our SINAI families in such a personal way,” said Esti Herman, SINAI’s chief development officer.
Sam Fishman, SINAI’s managing director, explained the significance of a donation and event like this.
“All parents want what’s best for their children. Unfortunately, when it comes to children with special needs, the financial challenges that our parents face are often unfairly burdensome. I’m working on tuition with parents throughout the year, and the stories I hear are often heartbreaking. It is so meaningful to see individuals like Tzvi and Erica, and Tzvi’s parents, Yitzie and Yosepha, who jump at the opportunity to help, and who are sensitive enough to let our parents know that they are not alone—that the community gets it and cares about them and their children. And to receive the support and encouragement from Staples to hold special hours for us made this extra special.”
SINAI parent Tova Weisz, who has three children at SINAI Schools, expressed the impact of the Solomons’ donation on their family. “There are so many moving parts that not everyone realizes need to fit together in a home in which there is a child with special needs, even the cost of things as simple as school supplies. SINAI and their sponsoring family have found a way to help take the pressure off in that this year we received an amazing gift of a gift card for each student with an incredible amount of generosity… and if that wasn’t even enough, the ability to go shop in the store early without hundreds of other people—having the service that we needed while five people pulled from 10 different sides—and it just made a huge difference to me and my husband. It made a difference when we paid and it made an even bigger difference when I sat down with the kids and helped them each pack up their knapsacks and I got to see everyone’s smiling face. To have them tell me how happy they were with their school supplies…it was like a dream.”