In the wake of the nor’easter storm, residents of the small town of Lumberland lost electricity for an entire week. The March 2nd storm downed at least 96 trees and turned out the power in 10,000 homes in the town, which is located in Sullivan County of Glen Spey, NY. As reported by VIN News, the town had allocated two locations to serve as warming centers for the public in event of a power outage, but both were inaccessible due to downed trees and power lines.
It was Jewish warmth and the generous hospitality on the part of Camp Simcha that got the town through this difficult period and frigid temperatures. The overnight camp facility, owned by Chai Lifeline, opened its doors to Lumberland residents for the duration of the week to provide heat, warm meals, showers, overnight accommodations, and recreational facilities.
Town supervisor Jenny Mellan had contacted the camp for assistance, because it is known to have generators in all its campus buildings, in order to best accommodate its campers’ medical needs. In the summers, the sleepaway camp is an oasis of fun to about 430 seriously ill children who get to swap their hospital rooms for an unforgettable fun-filled kosher tuition-free program. The camp director Nachman Maimon was eager to open their doors and hearts to the townspeople. The town’s official Facebook page directed residents to Camp Simcha as the new warming center. The Jewish facility offered a warm atmosphere, hot showers, coffee, WiFi, phone chargers and snacks around the clock. Crockpots were made available so that residents could enjoy hot meals. Over 65 hotel style rooms were made available for overnight guests. And of course the Camp had endless games and recreational opportunities for children.
“It is not only the creature comforts that are going well,” said Town clerk Laurie Terry said “It is a warming of the spirit because of the open and giving nature of the camp, and to see them coming out and giving everything they have. Our every possible need has been met and we really appreciate it.”