The Annual Good Deed Awards for Long Island Teenagers was founded in 1992 by Rabbi Anchelle Perl, director Chabad of Mineola.
At a time when the headlines focus on the sadness and cruelty of the world, Rabbi Perl set out to identify the vast good so inherent in our youth. So with one voice, business, government and community leaders come together each year, to honor and thank outstanding teenagers for their good deeds, kindness and generous demeanor as positive role models.
One of the students honored was Matthew Batnick of Roslyn High School.
At age 13 for his Bar Mitzvah, he personally collected and distributed special food products to help people facing life threatening food allergies. Then he proceeded to establish his own non-profit foundation called Matthew’s Vision, to provide allergy free food and money to those in need.
He has so far collected over 500 pounds of food and $15,000. One particular family he supported, has 2 of their 3 children with severe allergies to wheat, dairy and soy. The father in this family, had lost his job and suffered with advance sarcoidosis. Using the money donated, he subsidized the family’s food bill for months until the father found another job. He is now lobbying with his Congressman to pass legislation that would require chefs, soup kitchens to be educated on food allergies and how to handle emergency situations.
“It wasn’t about immigration or borders,” explains Rabbi Perl, “it was all about the ‘goodness & kindness’ so exemplified by Long Island teenagers regardless of race color or religious affiliations.”
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe always encouraged acts of goodness and kindness among humanity,” added Rabbi Perl, “to be the avenue to bring the world to complete peace and harmony.”