Expanding the Tantzers Family Center: A Safe Haven for Boys and Girls of Families with Critical Illness
A Safe Haven for Boys and Girls of Families with Critical Illness
Dovy’s a great kid. Eleven years old, he does well in school and is popular with his friends. Dovy has a warm, loving family with dedicated parents and lively siblings.
But lately, Dovy’s life is heading into a tailspin. He comes home from school, tired and hungry, and there’s no supper waiting for him. There’s no parent to help him with homework. There’s no one there to ask him about his day. You see, Dovy’s mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and is out getting treatments.
So Dovy eats a bowl of cereal and milk and then wastes time until way too late at night. He’s not doing his homework, and he’s too tired to get up on time for yeshiva in the morning. When he gets to school and sees the other boys, well-rested with signed homework sheets, he feels sad, lonely, and out of place.
Until now. Now, everything is different because Dovy has the Tantzers Family Center. Now, Dovy has a bright, happy place to go after school. Dovy can sit at the table to eat a snack or play a game with friends. Later, he can compete at air hockey or flop onto an inviting beanbag or couch to read books and comics in English or Yiddish.
Volunteers serve him a healthy dinner and help him with his homework. But, most importantly, they’re there for him as a listening ear. They encourage him to talk through his sadness, fears, and frustrations. He’s in the company of other children who understand what he’s going through.
When he goes to school the next day, well-fed, with his homework done, Dovy feels like a normal child again.
The Tantzers Family Center is a lifeline for children like Dovy, experiencing serious illness themselves or in their families. Their families are caught in a whirlwind of hospitals, doctors, and treatments. As a result, they’re not able to give their children a stable daily routine.
The Family Center provides that stability. Even more, it gives the children a safe place to talk about and process their turbulent emotions. It saves the children from their endless sadness. From their hopelessness. From their downward slide in school.
Serving children from all over Brooklyn, the Tantzers Family Center has separate hours for boys and girls ages six and up. For two hours a night, they come to have the “normal” evening routine that, unfortunately, they can’t get at home right now. The Center even provides transportation for children who need it.
The Tantzers Family Center opened its doors in March, starting with 25 kids. Five months later, it’s up to 80 children and will soon be expanding to a new building.
Please partner with us to give more children like Dovy the stability they need to overcome their challenges. To donate and learn more about our organization, visit our website. Or follow us on Instagram for the latest pictures, videos, and updates.
Photos by: Moshe Singer