When I came in this morning, I heard Meira on the phone with a family that was coming to visit Yad Eliezer. They wanted to volunteer in the warehouse, and to visit a family that was being helped by Yad Eliezer. They had inquired in advance and brought age appropriate gifts for the families children. It sounded interesting so I joined them.
Here is the Saks family with the gifts that they brought.
We knocked on the door and were answered by a modest and smiling hostess. She graciously accepted the gifts, telling the Saks kids that her children would surely enjoy them. She invited us in to her small home, and told us her story.
After she gave birth to her second set of twins she was hospitalized with a blood clot in her lungs. The family, being of very limited means turned to Yad Eliezer for formula to feed the babies. “Yad Eliezer helps us with a monthly food box, and chickens before the holidays. They do it in such a warm pleasant way that we feel supported and not embarrassed to get help from them. They also helped us buy tefillin for our son when he was bar mitzvah.
“Until three years ago we were living with seven kids in these two rooms. Just recently we were able to add a third room. See the bedroom here? The bottom bed pulls out to three, and the bunk bed on top- each one sleeps two kids with their heads at either end of the bed.” The room that we stood in was filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling with books. At night they pull shut the curtains that hang over the books, and the couch opens to be the parents’ beds. Mrs. B works caring for a group of toddlers in a playgroup in her home, each of her three rooms serve multiple purposes.
As we left, I asked Yehuda, Ya’akov and Aviva what their impressions were. They were all impressed that they were able to live in such a small space. Aviva (7) summed it up pretty well, “They must be very smart to find room for all of their things in such a small home!”
When I returned to the office I spoke to Atara about the experience, and she told me about another family that wanted to have a meaningful interaction with the Yad Eliezer recipients. On a usual Friday there is a man who is paid to deliver the ‘meals on wheals’ to families in need. That particular week the visiting family took over for him, finding out in advance the ages of the children of the families they would be visiting. On Thursday they went shopping and bought meaningful and age appropriate gifts for the children. One of the families’ daughters was about to celebrate her bat mitzvah, but on a budget like theirs, it would not be much of a celebration. The visitors brought her a beautiful necklace with her name on it and a siddur (prayer book) also with her name in beautiful gold letters. Her four year old sister got a toy baby carriage with a doll, and the other siblings also got similarly touching gifts. The following week Yad Eliezer received a letter from the mother detailing how much those gifts meant to her children.
It was an experience that made a powerful impression on both the givers and the receivers.
Click Here to Volunteer!