Elaine Barnartt-Goldstein led a collection of home goods and financial contributions from Beth El members to support Kimya’s House in Dorchester. Kimya’s House is a residential program for post-incarcerated homeless, predominantly Black, women.
Kimya’s House is “a project of New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. It is program designed to support formerly incarcerated women to successfully navigate the overwhelming complexities of reentering society upon their release.” (Source: ) Each woman is expected to stay a year to 18 months, the median amount of time for women’s recidivism, which the program is designed to prevent.
Elaine initiated this home goods drive by reaching out to Stacey Borden, a formerly incarcerated Black woman who earned a Master’s in Social Work in addiction studies and founded Kimya’s House. Thanks to Stacey’s vision and leadership, Kimya’s House will offer peer support, programs in money management, educational assistance, addiction rehabilitation, and other re-entry services as well as room and board. A house in Dorchester has been renovated and is expected to open in Fall 2021.
Elaine collected many items donated by Beth El members including dishes, tableware, cooking ware, lamps, office supplies, rugs and artwork, including some from Africa and the Caribbean.
Julia LaMotte grew up at Congregation Beth El. Now a pediatric psychologist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Julia is developing a book giveaway program for children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). As noted by Julia’s mom, Gena, “we send our children out into the world with the values they learned at Beth El that echo back to home and community.”
Although SCD is the most prevalent genetic disorder affecting Black and Hispanic youth in the U.S., research for this disease receives only one-third the funding as compared to other inherited diseases. In addition to the medical complications of living with SCD, such as severe pain and sometimes strokes, children are often at-risk for learning difficulties, school absenteeism, and changes to their mood (e.g., anxiety, depression).
Julia’s book program aims to give every child with SCD seen at Riley at least one book per year, specifically focused around promoting emotional intelligence/awareness, self-esteem, coping skills, growth mindset, mindfulness, and developmentally appropriate medical information about SCD. The books are selectively curated to include predominantly Black or Latinx characters to enhance relatability for readers.
Julia is seeking to establish a Sickle Cell Story Club Fund at Riley Hospital. The minimum to start a named fund is $10,000. With the help of her parents Gena Blinderman and Bob LaMotte, and Esther Heimberg, also of Beth El, they have already secured 20% and are hoping to secure the balance through local antiracism groups, Beth El members, and continuing support from antiracism groups in Indianapolis.
To make a gift to support this program, please write a check to Riley Children’s Foundation with “Sickle Cell Story Club” in the memo. The mailing address is: Riley Children’s Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For credit card gifts, click here. In the field that says “Please describe where you would like to further restrict your gift,” write: “Sickle Cell Story Club (as per Chris Dial’s instructions).” Questions? Contact Chris Dial, Major Gift Officer, at 317-759-6908 or email@example.com.