Long Island, NY – Change for good

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    Long Island, NY – When students at three North Shore synagogues set out in September to collect 40,000 quarters – one for every Long Islander who goes hungry each day – they had little understanding of how many people that was, and little faith such a task could be completed by the end of the school year.

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    When 1,000 coins came in that first month, their minds began to change. By December, they had gathered 10,000. By May 30, they had 31,000. The rest of the quarters came flooding in the last two weeks, with 13-year-old Madelaine Reis, of Port Washington, bringing in the final 400 in her mother’s yoga bag.

    “It feels really good because we’ve been working the whole year on this,” Reis said, as students laid the coins on the blue carpet of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in Manhasset. “It really makes me feel like we’re giving back to the community.”

    The quarters – $10,000 worth – were presented to the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which aids and tracks the number of hungry people on Long Island.

    “I really didn’t realize how huge the number 40,000 was,” said Ben Chernov, 10, of Great Neck. “But as the quarters started to come in, that changed.” “I kept thinking, ‘We’re not going to make it, we’re not going to make it,'” said Steven Krainin, 11, of Port Washington. “Finally, we got to the critical point. Our numbers got bigger and bigger and I am very happy we made it.”


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