In a heartfelt letter written by a few friends of the Swerdlov family, who lost their precious 3 year old girl Atla Shula in a terrible accident, they decided to run a toy drive in her memory. In the letter they wrote “when a child leaves this world at such a young age we have to do whatever we can in his/her merit,” adding “I started to think of a way in which we could help other children in her honor and being that Chanukah is around the corner…”
I’m writing this letter because I was fortunate enough to have met the Swerdlovs when we moved to Israel over 4 years ago. For those of you that know them, consider yourselves lucky. For those of you that don’t, they are the warmest, kindest, most hospitable people you will ever come across. They are the kind of people that would go out of their way to be a part of your Simcha (joyous celebration) even if it means a 4 hour drive. Hindel’s glow and positive energy can lift anyone’s spirits and is reflected in her beautiful children.
Sadly, as many of you all know her youngest child, Alta Shulah OBM was abruptly taken from this world at the tender age of 3 just a couple of days ago in a horrific, tragic accident. It left us all in a state of shock, feeling saddened and completely helpless. I sat here for the past 2 days thinking “Why? And to such amazing people? And such a beautiful little girl?” I questioned g-d but realized that only faith could get one through this.
I was told that when a child leaves this world at such a young age we have to do whatever we can in his/her merit. I started to think of a way in which we could help other children in her honor and being that Chanukah is around the corner I thought of contacting NCFJE, an organization that brings toys to hospitalized children. I also spoke with the Friendship Circle of Crown Heights which has a yearly Chanukah Party for the children with special needs and their siblings. They said they never seem to have enough toys and many children are left without any.
We all know what it means to a child to receive something, whether big or small. The organization informed me that because of the hospitals strict regulations it has to be something brand new, age appropriate (think 0-15) and nothing hazardous. If it’s electronic it would be helpful if you could provide batteries as many of these children cannot afford to buy their own. We will personally place a sticker with her picture on each item reading “In loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov OBM”.
Whatever you can give will make a huge difference in a little someone’s life. It would be greatly appreciated if you could have the toys sent to either myself or Mimi Kopfstein, if you can’t I will be more than glad to pick them up. You can also drop them off at the ticket desk at the Jewish Childrens Museum on Eastern Parkway, just make sure they know it is in Shulas memory and I will have a sticker placed on it. If you have any other questions then please call either myself or Mimi. Please pass this on to anyone that might be interested.
Thank you so much and let us all pray that the family finds the strength to get through this.
970 Saint Johns Place
Brooklyn, NY 11213
529 Brooklyn Avenue, Apt. 3B
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Jewish Childrens Museum
792 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213
Drop off at ticket desk Mon- Thur 10 am- 4 pm