An Outpouring Of Support For Local Families Featured By NYT’s Neediest Cases

An Outpouring Of Support For Local Families Featured By NYT’s Neediest Cases
Marks JCH (Source: Google Maps)
Marks Jewish Community House (Source: Google Maps)

The story of Yefim Ulitskiy, published by the New York Times’ Neediest Cases on January 5, describes a man whose ex-wife has died and struggles to take care of his two daughters — 11-year-old Daniella and 8-year-old Elana.

The girls’ grandmother, Lidiya Ulitskaya, 78, picks up much of the slack, accompanying them home from their after-school program at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House (Marks JCH) each day, but the commute is difficult for the elderly woman, particularly in the winter.

Marks JCH, a beneficiary of UJA-Federation and one of the charitable agencies supported by the Times’ Neediest Cases Fund, initially received a grant of $450 from the fund to cover the daily transportation of Ulitskaya and her granddaughters, four days a week for three months.

After the article was posted on a local parenting network, Marks JCH was flooded with requests from Bensonhurst community members who were interested in supporting the family.

“The phone calls are coming left and right. People are calling us and saying ‘how can I help?'” said Alex Budnitsky, Marks JCH’s executive director. This prompted Marks JCH to create the Ulitskiy Family Fund, allowing people to contribute directly to the family.

So far, $1384 has been collected through Marks JCH, including a donation from a Manhattan woman who payed the family’s transportation costs for the remainder of the year.

Ulitskaya says that thanks to the community’s generous support, her family has what they need.

“They very much helped me in [any way] they can. They give me discount for after-school. They give me camp. Now they give me transportation to go home from school,” Ulitskaya told us over the phone.

It is not the first time this year that a Neediest Cases article has helped raise awareness locally for Marks JCH’s charitable efforts. In November, the Times published the story of Vilyam and Mayya Gil, who were devastated by the death of their daughter, and could not afford a proper funeral or headstone. Then too, donations flooded in to Marks JCH to support the family.

Budnitsky told us that Marks JCH makes sure that 100 percent of donations go directly to the Ulitskiy family.

“On our end, the ‘J’ will continue to subsidize the children’s educational and recreational activities at the Marks JCH, at no cost to the family,” he said. “This is a true community effort, coming together to help take care of our own.”

To make a donation to the Ulitskiy Family Fund, fill out this form on the Marks JCH of Bensonhurst website, and specify where you would like your donation to go.

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