Seventeen months have passed since quintuplets born to the Klaver family brought the national media into their Brooklyn living room.
But now that they’ve faded from the limelight, the family has been forced to go public again as they face financial peril.
The Klavers have been ordered to vacate their crowded Flatbush apartment by their landlord, who is selling the house. Both parents are in poor health, and federal assistance they have been receiving is about to expire.
“There’s not a day that goes by without four or five threatening phone calls from collection agencies,” says Sam Klaver. Penina Klaver is currently hospitalized for abdominal surgery related to the pregnancy.
The Brooklyn Orthodox community has been generous to the Klavers, who have a fund in their name. The Jewish Press newspaper has launched a campaign to buy them a house, and Assemblyman Jules Polonetsky recently dropped off a check for $2,500.
“This was a family that needed immediate help,” said Polonetsky, who also recruited a pro bono lawyer to handle their housing problem.
The good news is that the three girls and two boys are in good health. One son who suffered from an intestinal problem has fully recovered. With the help of neighbors, friends and relatives, they manage to cope with the logistics of raising the quintuplets and two older boys.
“We’re coping with everything except the financial stress,” says Sam Klaver. “But if I had the choice to do without the quints or do without the stress, I’d say thank you very much, I’ll take all the stress you can give me. We’re getting help from upstairs.”
Donations to the family may be sent to Keren Zichron Rosh, 1421 E. 7th St., Brooklyn, NY 11230.