Song of hope: Girls create cabaret shows to help the hungry

January 19, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
Song of hope: Girls create cabaret shows to help the hungry
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Two Brooklyn girls are using the gift of song to help people in need.

Best friends Scarlett Diviney, 9, and Jolie Wasserman,13, host and direct “Voices to End Hunger,” a series of virtual cabaret shows on Facebook Live. Viewer donations are given to organizations that assist people struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Diviney, from Bay Ridge, and Wasserman, from Bergen Beach, met two years ago when they were in a production of “Annie.” So far, they and their network of young performer friends have put together four cabaret shows that raised enough money to feed 40,000 New Yorkers.

“The reason that we wanted to do this is because COVID increased the hunger problem by 40 percent and many people are hungry,” said Diviney.

“We know people go starving very easily,” said Wasserman. “We knew that it’s very important and we know that we can provide food for families and children, so we thought that it would be beneficial and important to do.”

Donations are distributed to several organizations, including Sloan Kettering Food Pantry and the Food Bank for New York City.

“In November, the food went to Sloan Kettering Food Pantry,” said Diviney. “It went to a lot of the cancer patients. Jolie and I got a bunch of groceries. The cars were filled with cereal boxes and canned foods.”

Jolie Wasserman and Scarlett Diviney during one of their cabaret shows.

“Everyone is so engaged and that’s very important throughout all of this,” Wasserman said. “We are just so thankful where we are, with everyone by our side, and we are happy about everyone’s response to this and the donations we’ve been getting.”

Donations from their most recent show went to the families of students at Shellbank Intermediate School in Sheepshead Bay and the Highbridge School in the Bronx.

“A lot of them live in shelters and they’re very hungry,” said Diviney.

On Feb. 12, “Voices to End Hunger” will host a special Valentine’s Day show.

“These cabarets will be online once a month,” Wasserman said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do this in person when all this is done, but for now it’s online and it’s still been so fun.”

To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2LtKvlX.


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