COVID19 Project: Wayne Cooking for a Cause

On Saturday, March 21, Randi London, a Temple Beth Tikvah mom received a text from mom, Caryn Alexander, asking how TBT families and the Wayne community could help a Wayne friend and nurse get some food and treats to her nurses and staff at Hackensack hospital.

After a few simple posts on Facebook, we raised thousands of dollars. We used local restaurants to deliver more than 1,000 meals to local hospitals…our goal was to help local business and front liners at the same time

A few weeks later, we joined a national initiative called FLAG (front line appreciative group) where other communities were doing similar things. Flag of Greater Wayne has fed more than 2,000 medical professionals and raised more than $65,000.

Once these moms sparked the initiative to get this mission started, the TBT AND WAYNE community has made it grow and flourish. Front Liners are being fed, and definitely appreciated. There are so many others that need help. We’d like to identify seniors, individuals and families in need who have lost access to services or jobs since being quarantined. We’d also like to recognize workers at nursing homes and care facilities.

Our first mission is feeding 120 Seniors whose Adult Day Care facility closed. We are giving them one week’s worth of food. That’s 1,680 meals. Lots of people are cooking and lots of restaurant partners are donating meals as well.

We’re calling this initiative Wayne Cooking for a Cause. You can join our Facebook Group called Wayne Cooking for a Cause…or if you want to donate you can Venmo: Cookingforacause.

When Rabbi Meeka Simerly asked Randi to speak at Zoom Shabbat on April 17, it wasn’t just about what has been accomplished – how much money was raised or how many people have been helped. She dug into the why, what compelled her to do it, how did it make her feel, why did she continue, what can others do.

It made her realize that no matter how unselfish it looks, there were very selfish reasons behind starting these initiatives: It has given people some control over a very out of control situation and is helping the front line, seniors and others, that keeps people uplifted and positive. A few Sundays ago, Food for a Cause delivered care packages to 80 Wayne nurses and other frontline workers. It’s hard to admit in the midst of this pandemic, but it was probably one of the best days of their life… watch not only 80 people feel appreciated and in tears of joy, but to watch an entire community be uplifted by feeling like they were there through dozens of videos and pictures on social media.

One of the great things about what’s been happening in our community is how people have found their own way to help. Monetary donations, service providers, even some sharing their special talents like making face masks. Think about how you can contribute.

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