Stories From Main Street: Alpine Teen Starts Charity Bike Ride To Help Others
ALPINE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - What would you do if you were 13-years-old and you had $30,000? David Feuerstein gave it all away, reported WCBS 880′s Sean Adams.
WCBS 880′s Sean Adams On The Story
“I collected my Bar Mitzvah money, started a fund at Jewish Family Service, and, over three years, I distributed the money,” Feuerstein told Adams.
He personally chose who would benefit. He would get two e-mails a week. He couldn’t say yes to all of them.
“So I’d get a story like ‘Mother has cancer. Dad’s in jail. Can you send the kid to camp?’ or ‘Woman fell down the steps, shattered all of her teeth. Can you pay for surgery?’ Like really horrible stories and I couldn’t believe that these stories actually occurred in our community,” he said.
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Feuerstein enjoys a comfortable life in upscale Alpine. But he learned firsthand about poverty while delivering Meals on Wheels with his mother.
“The other side you’re talking about isn’t too far away. In Bergen County, there’s a ton of hunger,” he said.
“There are about 52,000 people in Bergen County living below the poverty line,” said Jeff Nadler of Jewish Family Service (JFS).
At 16, Feuerstein organized a charity bicycle event – JFS Wheels for Meals. He raised $50,000.
“We’re actually adding a walk this year to appeal to even more people, So we have a walk, a tricycle loop, a three mile, a 10 mile, a 25 mile and a 50 mile,” Feuerstein said.
This year’s event starts on June 10 at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, 10 Link Drive, Rockleigh, NJ 07647. Click here to sign up.
Nadler and everyone at JFS are in awe.
“David is inspiring to all of us, he is a role model because he acts,” Nadler told Adams.
JFK provides 25,000 Kosher meals per year to all people. Religion doesn’t matter.
“I think a lot of young people think ‘Oh it’s such a big problem. How can I help, just one person?’ I’m trying to prove that anyone can help,” Feuerstein said.
Feuerstein, now 17, said he is committed for life.
“I definitely want to keep working with JFS for the rest of my life,” he said. “We’re never really going to be able to just completely stop all the need. There’s always going to be more and the community is always going to need us.”
How have you helped those in need in your community? Share your story in the comments section below.