Residents of Borehamwood and Elstree have been queuing out of the door to donate goods such as toiletries, toys, clothes and food for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire this week.
The heart-warming reaction, from a community nowhere near the site of the north Kensington inferno, came within hours of a call for help from the shul, with 50 volunteers sorting donations following an outpouring of kindness.
Organisers said the synagogue fast reached full capacity as residents brought what they could, including many new items, for those caught up in the tragedy.
“This amazing achievement was thanks to the support of hundreds, if not thousands, of local people who wanted to help another group of people in their time of need and grief,” said local resident Phil Korklin, who organised the appeal with his wife Katie.
“The local ‘What’s coming to the Wood’ Facebook group helped hugely in generating awareness. Overall, the appeal brought all parts of the community together in an incredible way, and demonstrated what we can achieve collectively.”
Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue chair Simon Mitchell said: “I’ve been involved with our synagogue for about a decade and this is undoubtedly one of my proudest moments. To see so many adults and children from all over the area come together at such short notice, and be so generous, was just mind-blowing.”
Donations are being coordinated with the Rugby Portobello Trust, and Mitchell said the shul had also been able to support local women’s refuge centres and homeless shelters, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.”