28 April

The Gift Cards Tell The Truth About Us

by Jon Katz

People are always working to divide us and point out our differences.  The Gift Cards I got in the mail today tell me another message. People are good, people care, people feel helpless and want to help the needy and vulnerable whenever they can.

Today’s shipment of Price Chopper Gift Cards tells a very different story than the stories we see on the news every day.  This was the biggest single number of cards to come to the farm in a single day.

Here, on this blog, with the Army Of Good, we are united and focused on our passion to do good rather than argue about what good is. THANK YOU!

These gift cards could hardly be more simple or urgent. They are going to feed the refugee students at Bishop Maginn and their families. Since their lives and jobs were shut down at the outset of this virus, students and their families have faced hunger and extreme poverty.

We are keeping them healthy and safe. The food pantries are overwhelmed, and these families have nothing. We have made the difference, and I am prouder of this program and of you than I have ever been.

Before the virus erupted, we were providing snacks and healthy juices to the students who showed up early to their homeroom classes, they hadn’t eaten yet. We raised money for a closet full of healthy meals and snacks.

A week after the schools were shut down, the closets were empty,  Theology teacher Sue Silverstein had given them out to the families she knew were needy. What she didn’t know was how many students and families were needier than she imagined, many were not eating.

I offered to buy Price Chopper Gift Cards.  I am humbled and deeply grateful for the response. We’ve raised nearly $4,000 so these students and their families can eat.

You responded and kept on responding, and we’ve raised thousands of dollars for these families – between 30 and 40 families are in dire need. I’ve overnighted these cards to Sue Silverstein, she will distribute them right away.

I know the need is greater, but I feel we need to stay small and focused. I am not comfortable growing larger or expanding or vision.

She breaks the hungry into three groups – “radical,” which is a dire need, “urgent”, which is very little food on hand, and a third category – people who who never asked for food before,  but are now desperate.

Thanks to you, none of these families are hungry now.

If you wish to join us – I think this need will continue for a few months at least – you can purchase a Price Chopper gift card in any amount. It must be sent to me at Bedlam Farm as gift cards can’t go to post office boxes and the school is closed.

You can find the gift cards here. Note: If you spend more than $300 on a single card or purchase, you might be asked to validate your cards a day or two after purchase by e-mail.

My address is Jon Katz, 2502 State Route 22, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. Some of you prefer not to purchase things online and have sent me some checks to buy the Gift Cards on their behalf. I’m happy to do that, the address is Jon Katz, 2502 State Route 22, Cambridge, N.Y. 12816.

You can see and purchase the gift cards here.

If you wish to support my work with Bishop Maginn High School and the refugee students there, you can do so via Paypal, [email protected] or by check, Jon Katz, Refugee Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

This is a brutally difficult time for these students and these families, the school is their focal point and safe network. They miss it terribly. This is big stuff, and I am overwhelmed by your generosity, trust, and compassion.

These qualities represent the best part of human beings, I am so happy to be doing what I am doing.



    1. We can, Susan, but the Price Chopper was chosen because it has a giant store right in the middle of the refugee neighborhood, but they will certainly use Wal-Mart cards to buy food, I’ve gotten several in the mail and they are using them: 2502 State Route 22, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. THANKS..

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