Very sadly, after more than a fourteen year battle with severe depression, we lost our precious, talented, cherished and caring son and brother Eric just a year ago. Eric was a unique individual -- gifted, sensitive, and charming, with a sharp wit, unusual sense of humor, and, above all, a deep caring about his family, his few close friends, and the special needs clients he worked with.
In the aftermath of Eric's passing, and his impact on the so many lives that he touched, many of whom are so much less fortunate than us, our family has given a lot of thought over the last year as to how we want to commemorate Eric. This has been especially poignant as we are now observing the first Yahrtzeit (anniversary) of his passing.
As part of our ongoing commitment to remember Eric in a meaningful way and further the values and ideals that were important to him, our family has set up the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Foundation for Hope", a 501(c)(3) foundation, and we have committed (and partially funded), thus far, to the following institutions and projects in Eric's memory:
1. Muhlenberg College (Eric's college alma mater) will be establishing the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Memorial Scholarship", which will for the first time provide financial assistance to students who have specific learning challenges;
2. The Jewish Family Service of Greater Clifton-Passaic will be establishing the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Center For Hope", to provide ongoing emotional, psychological, psychiatric, case management and vocational services to emerging adults, so that they may lead a successful and meaningful life; and
3. The Jewish Family Service of MetroWest will be establishing the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Memorial Fund", to provide programs to teens and young adults and their families, through workshops, groups, and other resources, to enable them to succeed in life, without stigma or other impediments. This Fund will also be running community education programs on mental illness awareness, de-stigmatization, and suicide prevention.
We have committed to contribute/raise $250,000 to fund and endow these projects. Many of our friends, family, and work, community and business colleagues have asked us to let them know when we decided on a project in Eric's memory. This, hopefully, answers that question. As noted above, the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Foundation for Hope" is a 501(c)(3) foundation (EIN 81-4420137).
Checks or foundation, corporate or matching gift funds should be made payable to the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Foundation for Hope" and can be sent to the Eric Eliezer Levenson Foundation for Hope c/o Mark Levenson, Sills Cummis & Gross P.C., One Riverfront Plaza, Newark, New Jersey 07102. Charitable contribution acknowledgement receipt letters will be timely sent.
Please note that this is a one-time only request. While the "Eric Eliezer Levenson Foundation for Hope" will be a continuing project for our family, and our primary charitable endeavor going forward and is a significant source of comfort to our family, this is a one-time only request letter and there will be NO annual follow-on requests.
Thank you very much for your consideration.