Were you ever in a quandary not knowing where to turn? Did you automatically feel a need to turn to Mommy even though you are a Mommy yourself now and maybe even a grandmother? Of course, you did. A mother seems all-knowing, all-powerful . She can fix anything or so it seemed in memories of childhood. And how did she obtain such powers? Through one source only: her great love and caring. And so perhaps that is why hundreds of thousands turn to Ezer Mizion no matter what they need. It begins from above, from Rav Chananya Cholak, the founder of Ezer Mizion, and permeates to each staff member and volunteer…that tremendous love and sensitivity, that outpouring respect and caring. It forms the very fabric of Ezer Mizion. And so the phone rang.
This time it was from a community leader to our Jerusalem branch director. “I don’t know if you have any resources for this problem but I thought I would give it a try. You see, a baby was just born to one of the community mothers. It’s their first child and, like any young couple, they had such dreams . Now those dreams are shattered. The baby was born with a defect. The mother is devastated. She can’t handle it. She hasn’t stopped crying. She is hysterical. I’m worried about the mother’s mental state and i’m worried about the baby. The mother refuses to even see, leave alone bond with and hold the baby. Nursing is out of the question. The baby has not experienced an ounce of tender motherly care since its birth. Do you have any ideas?”
Ezer Mizion has 700,000 volunteers, each with her own expertise. The calls began and it was not long before Mrs. L was located, a woman who knows the right words of encouragement. The Ezer Mizion Linked to Life network arranged transportation for Mrs. L to the hospital. Other Ezer Mizion divisions swung into action to provide loving support in varied ways so that the new parents will not feel they are alone in their crisis. And miracles began to happen. At 3:00 AM a message is received at the Ezer Mizion office: the mother has requested to hold her baby.
It will be a slow process. Slow and painful. But supported by the loving arms of Ezer Mizion, they’ll make it.
Things are buzzing at Ezer Mizion with its many departments in 57 cities covering a variety of needs. Let’s take a peek at the charts in the Kiryat Sefer branch for one department: Meals for Families undergoing Medical Crises. A logistic pyramid- a work of art – was set up in order to accommodate and provide nourishing and wholesome meals in a systematic way. Close your eyes and try to picture it. There are 40 coordinators that have each rallied 25 women to cook once every 5 weeks a protein for 6-8 people. That’s 1000 special ladies that are committed volunteers, on call and part of this huge operation. In the Ezer Mizion kitchen, a similarly sized team of volunteers prepares the starch to go along with the main protein together with a vegetable.
Every week between 50-60 families receive meals: On Monday- for Monday, Tuesday, on Wednesday – for Wednesday and Thursday. And Shabbos? For Shabbos there are 80 coordinators- each one is responsible for 3 Shabbos meals from beginning to end- not easy task- and the gourmet food just pours in. The number 16,000 per month doesn’t do justice to the myriad of logistics involved in caring for those who depend on the caring volunteers who deliver a basket of food for the body together with smiles and encouragement – nutrition for the soul.