Once again disaster struck, and once again Lakewood’s diverse community came to the aid of distant victims. Shortly after a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake ravaged Mexico last week, Alejandra Morales of La Voz Latinos rallied a relief effort, and the heart of Lakewood responded. Soon a steady stream of supplies, including water, non-perishable food, clothes, and diapers were brought to La Casa De Tia on Ocean Avenue where the supplies will be transported to hard-hit areas of Mexico by truckthis afternoon.
Ms. Morales was thankful for the broad show of support. “We want to extend a thank you to all the people in the community who have extended help for those who have suffered from recent events in Mexico,” said Morales.
Members of Lakewood’s Jewish community along with Board of Education members and public school students joined the effort. Lakewood Board of Education General Counsel Michael I. Inzelbuch met with Ms. Morales and both agreed that this represented “the beginning of a new partnership between all segments of the community.” Lakewood’s flagship yeshiva (Institution for Talmudic Study) assisted with coordination and logistics, and a large load of supplies was donated by two area Orthodox-owned businesses, Brookstone Management and First Healthcare Management Company and transported in a BMG truck to the drop off site.
Oscar Orellana, a Lakewood High School guidance counselor and VP of the Soccer Club, was heartened to see Lakewood’s diverse community coming together in a crisis. “Lakewood is very diverse and people on the outside often have the impression that our town is full of groups taking sides against each other,” noted Orellana. “The reality is that we are one town, looking to coexist and work together. The Orthodox community’s assistance in the Mexico earthquake relief effort has been very helpful. We don’t want this to be limited to a time of crisis. I hope that this is a big step to help us work together on many issues going forward.”