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The JCC Harlem, an initiative of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, in collaboration with UJA-Federation of New York, is thinking inside the box when it comes to creating financially accessible opportunities for families to explore, create and connect off-screen.

A neighborhood partner of the Harlem JCC, Brooke Desir, the founder of BeBox Kids, approached the JCC about launching a subscription box service she’d assemble and disseminate in their lot next door.

Thus came the JCC’s Summer 2020 Subscription Box Program, a series of interactive kits designed to engage families at home, while highlighting some of their favorite partners and beloved program providers.

“We loved the idea, decided to partner up and expanded the program to include five additional boxes, bringing the total to six,” said Meg Sullivan, the director of JCC Harlem. “We are delighted by the opportunity to support local Harlem businesses and program providers, fill unmet needs in the neighborhood and to make as many of the boxes as we can available at low or no cost to those who need it.”

Meg Sullivan, director of JCC Harlem.

The six boxes that are available are SHABBOX, Plant-Based Magic and BeBox Kids, all designed for kids ages two to 10, and Shop Shabbat, Shop Local and Voter Engagement Pack, which are all designed for adults and/or to enjoy as a family.

This is a brand-new endeavor that launched on July 6. The JCC Harlem will have contactless pickups on Mondays and Thursdays to keep members safe, and shipping across the U.S. is also available.

“We’re feeling optimistic about this new project,” said Sullivan. “We’re really delighted our community has expressed excitement about the boxes themselves, as well as the values the endeavor helps us animate: supporting local and Black-owned businesses; making these boxes available to all who need, regardless of finances; reimagining relationships with beloved local program providers; and reinventing the ways we can serve our community’s new and shifting needs.”

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Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is a staff writer for Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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