You may not have heard of The Blue Card until now so we thank you for taking the time to learn about the organization and our efforts to raise awareness for this very important and time-sensitive cause. The Blue Card is a national organization with a long and painstaking history. It was established in 1934 in Germany to assist families who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the Nazi regime. In 1939, the original founders of The Blue Card reestablished the organization in the United States to help those individuals who survived the Holocaust to start over their lives in the new country. The Blue Card is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors who live at or near the Federal poverty level. The Blue Card is the only agency that provides continuous and ongoing support for medical care, rent subsidies, food and other basic needs for our survivors. The average income for a single Blue Card grantee is less than $12,000 per year. This unique organization supports over 1,600 elderly Holocaust survivors. Due to the organization's low overhead, Charity Navigator, which is America’s Largest Charity Evaluator, continually bestows its top rating of 4-Stars upon the Blue Card for the fifth consecutive time . For more information about The Blue Card including description of programs, testimonials and articles, please visit www.bluecardfund.org.
Hi! I'll be captaining again for the 4th time in a row for the Blue Card 5 Boro Bike team. This is why I ride for the Blue Card....
My father, Emil Wildman, was a Holocaust survivor. His mother had a prison-number tattoo on her forearm, but never told us the story of how that came to be, probably because the story was too terrible to recount. They came over by boat in '39 to Cuba, since the US was not taking refugees from Germany at the time. Once the world started figuring out what happened, they came through Ellis Island in '40 and settled in the Bronx.
Growing up in NYC, my dad made sure that his kids always had enough, and that they had what he did not. He also made sure that my brother and me always had a bicycle. That was important to him -- and remains vital to me today. Despite living in a modest NYC apartment with my family, which includes 2 kids, I have a collection of 9 bikes (10 if you include my Citibike membership!). I've been cycling my whole life, and started riding long-distance and road bikes about 20 years ago. About 15 years ago, I started riding in group events, including the 5 Boro.
After my mother, Edna Wildman, retired, I got her a bicycle and took her out for a few rides. Elie Rubenstein, my mother's colleague & protege, remembered Mom telling him about our bike rides -- and how much she enjoyed them -- and in 2010 reached out to me with a special proposition. As Executive Director for the Blue Card Fund, a charity dedicated to supporting American Holocaust survivors in need of financial and social aid, Elie had an idea: To sponsor a team to ride in 2011's Five Boro Bike Tour. And he asked me to be the team's captain. How could I say no? My mother worked on behalf of Jewish interests for most of her adult life; my Viennese father narrowly escaped becoming a victim of the Holocaust himself. Jewish activism is in my DNA.
For my 4th year captaining, my four-year-old daughter Edie (a nickname for Edna) will be riding with me (as a passenger. My two/year-old son, Mili (short for Emil), may join us as well. (One of my bikes can carry up to # pounds of human cargo!) I only got my mom out on a bike a handful of times, but I think she’d be thrilled her grandchildren are riding by my side this year. I never got my dad out on a bike, but getting his name-sake on this ride to lend a helping hand to those who were also probably deprived of bicycles as children would make him feel very loved.
Please donate to this worthy cause generously. Thanks for reading!