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There's a New Poverty Wave That's New for Yad Eliezer, too

COVID 19 crisis is creating and increasing poverty-the likes of which we haven't seen

by Karen Reiffman

0 Comments | Tuesday, April 21, 2020 under Food Boxes, Feed-a-Baby, Shabbat Chicken, Widow and Orphan Fund, Emergency Fund, Holiday Fund, Meals-on-Wheels

The story of the falafel stand owner that's been making the rounds in Israel is heartbreaking to watch. In case you haven't seen it (interview here in Hebrew), have a couple of tissues ready, when you do. In short, Yuval Carmi has been running his falafel business in Ashdod for years but the fallout from the pandemic (including the business restrictions currently in place) has destroyed it, taking away his income and threatening the stability of his family:

“I’m embarrassed, from my children, to tell them I have nothing I can buy for you. I have nothing to give them. I have nothing to give them to eat.” 

Mr. Carmi is just one of countless people-parents and breadwinners-whose lives have been completely turned upside down by this debilitating crisis. Families left and right are experiencing financial challenges that many, such as Mr. Carmi, have never experienced before. 

New poverty wave is new for Yad Eliezer, too

As one of the top Israeli charities, with decades of experience behind us, poverty and its consequences is something Yad Eliezer is all too familiar with, and we are always tuned in to the needs of the poor in "normal" times. But the pandemic has created an element of sudden, hi volume need that is unique, even for us. Numbers of applications for help have gone up hundreds of percentages. We're seeing stories and receiving requests from numerous people just like Mr. Carmi on a daily basis: people who were dutifully going to their jobs every day, paying their taxes and raising their families, and now can't buy groceries. Can't pay their rent. 

We're also seeing the crisis's devastating effects on the homes of already-poor families who were certainly no strangers to struggle and scarcity pre-Corona. The collapsing economy's ripple effect is delaying and upsetting stipends and financial benefits they rely on. Single parents are being dealt an even heavier blow than before: divorced and widowed mothers without solid financial incomes are now trying harder to scrape by, especially after unexpectedly becoming unemployed.


Acts of kindness bring comfort

We're living in an ever-changing, often discouraging situation-one whose end we all look forward to, but can't predict. What keeps me hopeful, though, are the acts of kindness during this time that I hear and read about, and I'm lucky to have first-hand insights into some of the many examples that are taking place through Yad Eliezer. 

There's the financial aid that helped Shalom, a four year old boy with level 5 Cerebral Palsy. He's severely disabled and when his special needs school was closed, there was no framework available for him. He spent his days lying in bed, due to his inability to sit upright. Shalom's parents couldn't afford the special chair he needed that would enable him to do that. Thanks to the medical supplier who was moved by the situation and provided the family with a discount, and a generous Yad Eliezer donor who was moved as well, Shalom's parents were able to get him the chair he desperately needed.

There's the funding that was provided to Chana, a divorced mother of Shira, 9, and twin boys, less than a year old. Her abusive ex husband is finally in jail, so she's safe from his hands, but at risk of going hungry. Chana has professional skills. She wants to work. But the inability to send her daughter to school and her boys to daycare, is preventing her from looking for employment, if she can find any employment in this climate at all. The support Chana received is helping her pay bills and feed her children, tiding her over until she can resume her job search and hopefully, go to work.

And donations make the difference

There are thousands of stories like these...way too many to write about here. But it's important to know that they exist. And that their subjects' lives are really being changed through donations to Yad Eliezer programs like our Corona Emergency Relief campaign

If we continue to work together, we can bring relief to so many and make this difficult time a little less so, for people like Shalom, Chana and maybe even Yuval.


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