Last week, an unmarked envelope with $183.00 in cash was found under an office staff’s keyboard. For the past week we have been trying to figure out the mystery of the anonymous cash donor and came up with zero leads.

One of our clients, a struggling single mom with two little girls, came in for her regular appointment at the food bank and admitted to Marie that it was her eldest daughter who had left the money.

Her daughter just turned eight years old. She has a thirst for knowledge, a keen interest in other cultures and a desire to travel to faraway places. Through the JCS Kosher Food Bank Birthday Club, she received her wish of a “China” themed birthday party complete with chopsticks and kimonos.

Little girls should not know the burden of financial instability, but unfortunately she is a smart little girl and aware of her family’s situation. She knows that her mom receives help from the JCS Kosher Food Bank. She knows she has received snacks for school, Chanukah presents, school supplies, and her magical birthday party from the JCS Food Bank.

She also truly understands the concept of paying it forward. On her own volition, maybe with some encouragement from her mom, she suggested that in lieu of gifts guests to her party give a small donation to her charity of choice – the JCS Kosher Food Bank.

She collected the money and quietly left it under Marie’s desk to give back to the place that she knows helps so many people.

I thank this young girl for being an inspiration and an example. In the Bible, tzedakah means “righteous behavior,” at eight years old this girl is an example for all. She understands the meaning and the importance of making sure to help others, as she has been fortunate to be helped. This teaches us the importance of generational giving and how even a little girl understands the importance of giving back to Jewish Community Services to make a difference for someone else.

The JCS Kosher Food Bank is the only food bank in South Florida to which those who observe kosher (kashrut) dietary laws can turn. It supplies critically important food items and other daily necessities, as well as evaluates clients’ overall needs and arranges for appropriate support services. Because dignity is of the utmost concern, private one-on-one appointments are scheduled at convenient times.

For more information, please contact Bonnie Schwartzbaum at 305.947.8093 or

FullSizeRender-2Ruchie Gross is the Administrative Assistant to Bonnie Schwartzbaum.
Ruchie is the niece of Tobi Ash, an original founder of the Food Bank.