We can say it in numbers. 650,000 hot meals for family of seriously ill. 80,000 medical equipment loans. 4400 special needs children. Big numbers. Impressive, aren’t they? Or we can say it in people. Real people. People with feelings. People who cry.
People like the mother who had been looking forward to a delightful reunion with her family after birth until corona cancelled her plans. Diagnosis: positive. Tremendous tension. Will she be ok? Will she be able to care of the newborn? Will the newborn be ok? Quarantine. For the whole family. No preparations. No family to take her home. No exuberant welcome. No gleeful hodgepodge of a welcome-home supper put together by small, eager hands. No anticipation of Mommy soon taking over the kitchen providing that homey security that only mommies can do. No joy. Just anxiety, stress and worry. And then… on the heels of her entry – a warm delivery of 10 falafel portions. A message of caring and support for the difficult days to come. And the sun began to shine.
Two thousand donated pitot with falafel delivered by Ezer Mizion Linked to Life volunteers throughout Beitar to quarantined families whose smiles made all the complex logistics well worth the effort.
And then there are people who were fine yesterday, perhaps even helping others. Suddenly they find themselves unable to cope. Another mother of a newborn, looking forward to some quiet days with her little ones finds herself in a hospital room with her ‘big boy’ who was rushed to the ER with convulsions. Weak and worn, she tenses up at each new cry, “I want my blankie. I want my blankie. I want…” finally she dials that number. That magic number. The one that makes the impossible happen. “Sure. We’ll post a request right now. Hopefully, someone is going that way.” She zipped her cell phone back into her purse and walked out into the hallway for a quick breather. The elevator door opened. “No. it can’t possibly be. So soon???” There it was, the blankie, peeking out of a bag carried by a smiling Ezer Mizion volunteer.
Big numbers are impressive but little numbers say so much more. Numbers like ‘one’. One distraught mother who receives a call from the hospital. Her baby has kidney failure and is refusing to take the supplemental nutrition being fed to him. She has some of her own milk stored but how to get it there. They need it now. This time a posting went out asking if anyone is going in that direction. “I’m not going there but I’ll take it anyways,” came the quick reply. “My mitzvah. “
People with troubles. People with big hearts. 30,000 volunteers. Big numbers. Little numbers. Problems. Solutions. Tears and smiles. Always smiles. We’re here for you whenever you need us.