At the regular Rotary meeting on Tuesday, noon, April 11, 2023, the members of the Rotary Club of Westfield heard about how a young man is making a difference to help people.

John El-Maraghy was a student at Rutgers and noticed that during covid, the men’s shelter in New Brunswick shut down the showers. He and his wife decided to do something about that to help the homeless men in New Brunswick. They started a 501c3 to provide a mobile van which offered the homeless men the ability to take showers. It also includes a barbershop. They started in New Brunswick once a week, but have expanded to include Newark once a month, and hope to expand to Hoboken and Orange. After the shower, they offer a care package including socks, T shirts and toiletries.

Since John’s full time job is to arrange grants for a Nonprofit in New York City, he was able to use his professional skills to get grants for this project from several banks. Their biggest expense is insurance.

He needs to get permits from the towns to operate, but since this is a new project, the towns do not have specific permits for him. Instead, they issue a street fair permit for the vehicle; and a construction permit for them to use the fire hydrant. If the location has a fire hydrant, they can offer many showers, up to 20 every 3 hours. If there is no hydrant, they can only offer 30 showers until the waste tank is full;, which then needs to be emptied by a septic pumping company.

The Rotary Club of Westfield meets the first three Tuesdays of each month for lunch at noon, at Limani Seafood Grill on North Ave. Guests are always welcome. For information check out the website  or contact club secretary Dr. D. Michael Hart by email at

Photo: Left to right: John El-Maraghy, Rotary Club President Tony LaPorta