SHAI hosts another successful winter coat, clothing drive

The Island Now
Pictured are SHAI Board members Monika Amirian Keivan Farhadian Rebecca Harounian Rebecca Sassouni Farangiss Sedaghatpour Michael Shahkoohi, Shahruz Shahery and; also, one of many families who brought their children along to make donations.

On a brisk fall Sunday in November, members of the SHAI Board formed an assembly line to accept and sort donations from generous donors during a four- hour, driveby coat and clothing drive.

Winter will be warmer for many local children and families thanks to the outpouring of donations of warm children’s clothes designated to the Great Neck Public School’s Clothing Pantries. Donations included coats, sweaters, pants, knapsacks, hats, scarves, gloves and shoes. Donations of adult clothes this year were picked up by Big Brothers and Sisters of Long Island.

With many pantries closed or refusing donations due to the pandemic, and with poverty concomitantly on the rise, the SHAI Board decided it especially urgent to host a clothing drive, again, this year.

Exacerbated by the pandemic, pockets of local poverty continue to grow amidst perceived affluence in Great Neck,” said SHAI’s immediate past president and current President of the Great Neck Board of Education, Rebecca Sassouni. “SHAI always values neighbors assisting neighbors.”

During especially poignant moments, several donors dropped off clothes while mentioning they were from family members who passed away during the pandemic. Others donors relayed their own humble roots and personal gratitude to be able to donate to others during times of need.

SHAI Board member Monika Amirian relayed that her pre-school-aged children, who attend Chabad’s preschool Center for the Arts in Manhattan, hosted a clothing drive to benefit SHAI and GNPS. The entire toddler class each created cardboard homes which they decorated to collect clothes for other children.

SHAI Board members who pitched in included: Claudine Amirian, Joseph Amirian, Monika Amirian, Michael Delafraz, Keivan Farhadian, Lee Harounian, Jacqueline Harounian, Rebecca Harounian, Fred Ohebshalom, Rebecca Sassouni, Michael Shahkoohi and Shahruz Shahery.

SHAI thanks the donors, too numerous to mention, and hailing from multiple ethnicities, ages, and faiths.

SHAI is a pluralistic not-for-profit organization that serves as a Jewish Community Center without walls. SHAI partners with municipal and other not-for-profit entities to serve the needs of the Persian Jewish community and their neighbors. To donate to SHAI, and to find out more visit

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