The needs of the Crown Heights community have changed again, and Ten Simcha – the community gown Gemach – is addressing that, with a new auxiliary branch called “Chasdei Nochum.”
“When Ten Simcha was established 16 years ago, we started out exclusively with donated gowns,” explains Mrs. Risa Greenwald, the Gemach’s director. “Thus our expenses were minimal and we were able to lend gowns at nominal costs.”
Through the years, the gown-rental business grew, Greenwald says, and more women were renting beautiful gowns and fewer were making gowns -which meant that fewer gowns were being donated to the Gemach.
Additionally, over time the expectation and demand for more exclusive gowns from the Gemach became evident. To meet the expectations, and because less gowns were donated, the volunteer-run organization began buying and making original gowns. This significantly raised the overhead costs and necessitated a higher donation to borrow from Ten Simcha; all the while, keeping the cost at Gemach prices for the value of the gown.
Recently, with the economy as it is and the closing of several lower-cost gown Gemachs, the need for a lower cost gown Gemach has become obvious. And Ten Simcha will attempt to fill that void with their auxiliary gown Gemach – Chasdei Nochum.
“The purpose in opening Chasdei Nochum is for our Anash and Shluchim community to have a Gemach with reduced operating costs, thereby enabling minimal fees to be charged,” says Greenwald.
Gowns can be borrowed for a set fee of $50 plus minimal cleaning fee (as needed).
The Chasdei Nochum Gown Gemach will lend out beautiful gowns that have been donated for this cause. Over 100 gowns will be transferred from Ten Simcha.
Still, to help assure the success of this Gemach, the directors are asking the Crown Heights community to donate their gowns – up-to-date and classic styles, designer gowns, gowns that a person will wear with dignity.
And of course, the Gemach would benefit from monetary support, too, for general overhead.
(Should you want to clean the gown before donating it to Chasdei Nochum, Clean Spot on Kingston Avenue will have a special price of $20 for that purpose. Please let them know when you have dropped off a gown at Clean Spot for donation.)
Part of the impetus for the opening of Chasdei Nochum is that this year marks the 30th yartzeit of Reb Menachem Nochum Preger, Mrs. Greenwald’s father. Reb Menachem Nochum was a pillar of chesed, a baal tzedaka, an askan who used every day of his life to benefit Klal Yisroel, and a chasid whose greatest pleasure was to bring nachas to the Rebbe.
Visits to the Gemach will be by appointment only, during pre-set hours on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. The appointments can be made for approximately eight weeks prior to the Chasunah. Chasdei Nochum will be located at 1509 President Street. Phone – 347-770-0307.