June 8, 2023
Magen Avrohom Invites Kids to Come Along for the Ride
It’s all children are talking about these days. The organization that has been a game changer for so many young adults battling eating disorders is changing the game with a revolutionary raffle that has got classrooms in Lakewood rolling with excitement.
Here’s a joke that made the little writer in me chuckle back when I was riding my first bike around town:
What does a cyclist ride in the winter?
Okay, now that I think about it, it may not be all that hilarious. But here’s what did remain true all these decades later: summer certainly is the season for biking.
This week, with bike season upon us, children in the community are abuzz about a raffle unlike any we’ve seen before. Magen Avrohom has announced a revolutionary sweepstakes where not only will the winner receive a high-end electric bike, but their entire class—yes, you read that right—will receive brand-new speed bikes as well.
Since the launch of this initiative, the organization’s fundraising team has been inundated with interest. Some callers have had some questions too, prompting Magen Avrohom to reach out and share more about the initiative. So, here goes:
A lifesaving mission
Many people are unfamiliar with the work of Magen Avrohom, and baruch Hashem for that. Founded two decades ago by Rabbi Dovid Dewick upon the directive of and with guidance from the Amshinover Rebbe, the organization operates in a space where light naturally doesn’t shine.
Magen Avrohom serves individuals who are battling mysterious and stigma-filled eating disorders which have destroyed the lives of so many of our young and brightest—boys and girls in the prime of their lives who inexplicably began to wither away emotionally and physically at the hands of stubborn, logic-defying illnesses. The pain and anguish of the parents, and of those struggling themselves, know no bounds.
The organization steps up for those battling these debilitating disorders, supports their families, provides medical referrals and guidance, manages their case every step of the way, offers mental health counseling, and deftly helps bring relief to those succumbing to hunger through meal coaching, mentoring, and guidance for strugglers and their families.
All this is done with utmost discretion and modesty, under the guidance of renowned gedolim and rabbanim and with the collaboration of leading mental health professionals.
Fighting sadness with joy
In its mission to overtake the sadness, isolation, and shame faced by children and adolescents with eating disorders, the group’s leadership came up with the novel idea of channeling the excitement and exuberance of fellow youngsters into a force on behalf of their struggling peers.
That is where the idea for Magen Avrohom’s Summer Bike Raffle was born. In the spirit of unity and solidarity, it was determined that not only would the winner receive a valuable prize, but their entire class would win along with them. It is the first time such a project was featured in our community.
The early results haven’t disappointed. Just a few days after the mailers arrived at local homes, the raffle is already the talk of town in every frum community, with children excited to see whether their class will be the one that wins the bikes, as well as who will be the winner facilitating it and riding in front with their electric bike.
The raffle is not limited to biker lovers, though. Winners who can’t or don’t wish to receive bikes will be supplied with other options to share with their friends.
Along for the chessed ride
In a world of endless tzedakah and chessed, it is often hard for an organization to stand out and make a fundraising impact. Yet, it’s clear that Magen Avrohom has changed the rules of the game, inviting parents and children to be part of a united mission of looking out for those who unfortunately cannot experience a healthy social life with their friends.
While children are fueling the excitement for this drive, parents and even grandparents appear to be not far behind, with many appreciating the opportunity to contribute toward a worthy cause, teach their little ones the value of solidarity, and hopefully see their children or grandchildren take home the big prize.
“We are proud of the feedback we’ve been receiving, and it’s heartwarming to see the community step up in such a manner,” says Rabbi Gershon Hess, Magen Avrohom’s director of financial affairs. “We are just getting started and have big things planned for presenting the bikes to the winners, along with some other surprises. So stay tuned.”
And to that, a community of children answer in unison, “Let’s ride!”
Your Questions Answered
Q: Will my class really receive bikes if I win?
A: That’s right. The winner’s entire class wins (up to 40 children)!
Q: Who will benefit from this raffle?
A: The acclaimed Magen Avrohom organization, which assists people who struggle silently with eating disorders.
Q: Will the bike be the correct size for me?
A: The winner will receive a card to fill out with the preferred bike for themselves and each classmate.
Q: What kind of bikes will the winners receive?
A: The winner will get a high-end electric bike while their friends will receive quality speed bikes.
Q: What if I don’t want a bike?
A: We will offer you the choice of a scooter for yourself and your friends as well as other potential options that are right for you and your class.
Q: I am a bachur in yeshivah. If I win, will my entire shiur receive a bike?
A: Yes, indeed! Up to 40 bachurim will win along with you.
Q: How can I enter the raffle?
A: Mail the form on the card you received in the mail to Magen Avrohom, POB 977, Monsey, NY 10952; visit www.maauction.org; or call 848-248-4883.
Magen Avrohom by the Numbers
4,920 individuals who have gone on to build healthy homes with the help of Magen Avrohom
21 years of lifesaving services
$2 million annual budget
$15,000 average cost per struggler during the initial stages
8,500 calls received and answered by Magen Avrohom helpline this past year
Unlimited time spent with each struggling individual
1 vital fundraising mission to save our vulnerable brothers and sisters!
Magen Avrohom—Where One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Every person struggling with an eating disorder is unique, and at Magen Avrohom, every treatment plan is equally unique. The experienced staff collaborates with experts, therapists, guidance counselors, social workers, and more. Together, they review each case diligently and devise the best course of action, which may include:
- Individualized assessments—The staff gets to know each struggling individual and their unique situation.
- Personalized treatment plan—Magen Avrohom develops and maintains a treatment plan tailored to the struggler’s specific needs.
- Education—The organization educates loved ones about eating disorders (it’s not just about food!) and how to be an aid instead of a hindrance toward a full recovery.
- Advocacy—With their extensive network of contacts, they advocate for the struggler’s best interest with doctors, therapists, and nutritionists.
- Post-hospital care and discharge planning—Strugglers are often caught in a revolving door of continued hospitalization. Magen Avrohom aims to avoid and break the vicious cycle through careful planning.
- Meal coaching—In a process that can last months or even years, the struggler sits with a coach during meals, learning how to normalize eating behaviors and manage associated emotions.
- Mentoring—Strugglers are matched with a mentor who is always available to listen and help out with whatever is needed.
- Teleconference support groups—The need for guidance and chizuk never stops. The support groups are a great resource for these individuals and families.