Alumni Covid-19 Inspires Young Judaea Alumnus to Give Back
Humans of Young Judaea Feature: Sindy Wayne
When COVID-19 hit and I witnessed the economic impact and the corresponding rise of people facing food insecurity, I began volunteering at the Newton Food Pantry, helping to prepare bags of produce for distribution to clients. Despite Newton’s image as an affluent suburb, too many of our neighbors struggle to put food on their tables. During that time volunteering, I learned about Newton Food Pantry’s desire to start a supplemental food resource for the community. In January, I agreed to take on the role of volunteer coordinator.
The Newton Community Freedge, a free outdoor refrigerator and pantry is open 24/7 for all and is a collaborative effort between individuals, organizations, and businesses in Newton, MA. Based on the operating principle of “take what you need, leave what you can”, this volunteer-run initiative opened on 3/14/21 and is being led by the Newton Food Pantry (an all-volunteer run organization) in collaboration with teams of volunteers from organizations across Newton.
As the volunteer coordinator, I set up and manage all of the processes and procedures for volunteer teams to monitor, clean, and stock the Freedge, including picking up donations from local restaurants and businesses. In addition, I manage social media and marketing to encourage individuals in the community to contribute food to the Freedge and to encourage users to take advantage of this new supplemental food resource.
My lifelong passion for social justice and activism and the skills that I use to lead and mobilize others in both my volunteer and professional life are a direct result of having grown up in Young Judaea (Central States participant and Mazkirut, camper and staff-member at CYJ Midwest and Tel Yehudah, and year in Israel with my Young Judaea kvutzah on Machon L’Madrichai Chu’l). In particular, my high school summers at Tel Yehudah fueled my desire to “repair the world” and helped me gain the knowledge and skills to put my desire into action. I am honored to “pay this experience forward” by currently serving on the Tel Yehudah Board of Directors.
Sindy Wayne is a former Central States Mazkirut (1977-81), CYJ Michigan Camper (1976-78), Tel Yehudah Camper (1978-80) and has served on the Tel Yehudah Board of Directors since 2015.