NEW YORK – The Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund is quickly approaching its $1 million dollar goal with a collection of $230,192. The fund was recently established in the memory of the 8-year-old Brooklyn boy who was kidnapped and murdered by a 35-year-old Orthodox man he met walking home from day camp.
The fund’s mission is to help troubled children at risk and indigent families. It was established by Leiby's parents, Nachman and Esty Kletzky, on July 21 to perform “acts of kindness” for children and families.
The fund raised $60,000 on its first day.
There are 4,870 supporters, according to the site. The memorial fund is established under a recognized 501(c) (3) IRS tax exempt non-profit organization. Pictures of Leiby Kletzky flood the site which also include comments from thousands of supporters offering their condolences.
Some are donating large amounts and others are donating what they can afford. But many are inviting others to donate by invitation, which is starting a network of donors.
One of the largest individual donations on the site was in the amount of $3,600. There are also many donations of at least $1,000 to the fund.
Yoely Lebovits of Suffern donated only $36 on the Memorial Fund’s site but was able to encourage others to contribute. He invited 1,145 people to donate, raising $1,985 for the fund.
Leiby Kletzky, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, went missing on July 11 after he had asked his parents to allow him to work home from day camp. When he got lost, he turned to Levi Aron, also a member of the Orthodox community, for help.
Aron, accused of murdering the 8-year-old, told police that he smothered Kletzky with a towel before he dismembered his body. The boy's body parts were found two days later by police inside of Aron's freezer and in a nearby dumpster.
During his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on July 14, Aron pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and murdering Leiby.
A comment by Devorah S. on the Kletzky memorial fund website provides insight on why the response to the fund has been so strong.
“This story has touched so many people across the world,” Devorah S. wrote. “May the changes all of us are making as a result of hearing about this tragedy bring about the ultimate redemption-we are all waiting for that day!”
To donate to the Memorial Fund, a check or money order can be sent to Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund and send it to Nachman & Esty Kletzky, 1448 56th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11219 or go to www.LeibyKletzkyMemorialFund.com.