What would you do? What would you do if a fellow Jew stood there in tears begging you for help? If her situation was so difficult that you knew you yourself couldn’t handle it? If your heart ached to offer at least some relief? What would you do? Wouldn’t you say yes? Of course, you would! We’re Jews. Known for our compassion. And so that’s what we did. We said yes. We said yes to the mother of a special needs child who had already used up her allotted respite hours and called the office about Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs. The father had passed away a few months ago. The mother was left alone to care for the family including a difficult special child. She knew she had no more respite hours left and would have to pay for the service. She began giving over her credit card info but before she reached the last digit, her voice choked up into sobs and she could not continue. The camp was essential for this most difficult child. And no less essential was the break it afforded the whole family who would be able to enjoy the healing time of togetherness after the death of the father without the continual, relentless turmoil created by a child who was incapable of joining the family unit.
Camp was crucial but so was food for her family. Basic food. Credit cards have to be paid at the end of the month and there was hardly any money. The heart-rending tears flowed and so we said yes. Yes, we will accept her child at no cost. Wouldn’t you have done the same?
And we said yes to the family that has not one but two special needs children. As if that is not enough, another family member suffers from severe emotional disturbances. This mother also had no allotted hours remaining but could we say no?
Every year, Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camps include camps for Special Needs Children, camps for Cancer Patients and their Families enabling the whole family to enjoy a rejuvenating vacation from cancer in a fun atmosphere geared for their needs and, beginning this year, camps for the Mentally Challenged and their Families.
Some excerpts from one of the many thank you letters received:
Survival mode. That’s the only way to describe it. When my daughter was out of the house, we lived normally. When she was home, it was all about getting from one minute to the next with the house, her siblings and my sanity usually less than more intact. Pandemonium reigned. Every day. My children hardly knew what it was like to live in a normal home. Invite friends over to study for a test? Absurd. Have a quiet talk with a child? There was no quiet. We had no end to look forward to in the foreseeable future. My eight year old dreamed of getting married and living in a calm house. Ezer Mizion came through over and over again with a variety of support, then with the biggest surprise of all – a summer camp geared just for kids like her. My children couldn’t believe it when I suggested a trip to the zoo during vacation. Such a simple pastime but so out of reach with a special child at home. Ezer Mizion, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. May you all be blessed.
Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.