Purim parties were held at all of the after-school youth clubs, with sweet treats, surprises and lots of laughter. All of the children received costumes, thanks to a number of Meir Panim initiatives.
In conjunction with House In, a chain of children’s furniture stores, Meir Panim collected costumes for needy children throughout the country. The public was encouraged to donate new or gently-used costumes, with drop-off centers established across Israel. Special distribution events were held at Meir Panim facilities nationwide, where children and parents had the opportunity to choose their favorite costumes.
Iri Shachar, CEO of Toys R Us Israel, was moved by the high number of children who could not afford to buy a Purim costume, and made up his mind to do something about it. Meir Panim was thrilled to receive hundreds of brand new costumes, which were distributed to children in the after-school youth clubs.
According to David Roth, president of American Friends of Meir Panim, “it is difficult to describe the sheer happiness the children experience upon seeing such a variety of beautiful costumes available to them. Too often, the holidays are just another harsh reminder of all that is missing in their lives.”
But Purim is not just for kids. All of the Free Restaurants were colorfully decorated, and hosted Purim parties complete with music and holiday treats. Festive meals were served at each location so that Meir Panim patrons would have a place to attend and eat for the holiday.
In the Or Akiva branch, a special Megillah reading was attended by almost 200 children and adults.
And Meir Panim staff and volunteers visited a number of army bases, distributing special Mishloach Manot packages to soldiers who could not be with their families for the holiday.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to House In, Iri Shachar, and everyone who gave so generously of their resources and time to make Purim so special for so many!