Amidst the final preparations for Pesach and the continued challenge of the national emergency situation — we continue to follow and to be amazed by the dedication of the various departments. We’re happy to once again update you on more activities and facts from the field:
Linked to Life — all-time high in requests coming in to Linked to Life:
From the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis — the 5 regions, from North to South, together with the branches, dealt with more than 56,000 requests (!!). It’s reasonable to assume that as you read these lines, dozens more requests have piled up at headquarters…
We’re talking about thousands of patients who needed medicines from the drug store, thousands of seniors who needed to get to medical care, countless meals that were delivered to the homes of quarantined individuals and the needy in impressive collaboration with the Home Front and the municipal Social Services departments.
Believe me — a brief peek at the What’s App groups task forces — and you’ll be dizzy from the pace of the activity.
The branches’ activities also continued at full throttle, providing a response for the varied needs of residents. Among these were refreshing projects to encourage the people and raise the general morale. For example, the Modi’in Ilit branch sent out a “Simcha Van,” which rode all around the city and got lots of people to join in song and dance from their porches.
Kimcha D’Pischa Pesach packages
Distribution of the many cartons is in progress! This year, more than ever before, we realize that these food cartons will touch the hearts of families of patients and seniors, who have been in unusual isolation already for long weeks, due to their dangerous medical situation.
1,569 aid recipients
These days, the social service families are receiving adapted services, provided by the department of professional support for family empowerment, in collaboration with the Social Services Department and the various municipalities: Coaches, mentors for children with special needs and on the autistic spectrum, alternative for rehab day care centers, and more.
It’s moving to see the mentors going out for a walk with the children, taking along the disabled ID card that entitles them to walk around with the children beyond the restriction of 100 meters.
Special adapted work plans to be implemented by phone were prepared for those families whom the staff is unable to reach directly.
Bone Marrow Donor Registry
We’re signing off the month of March with 41 lifesaving stem cell transplants!
An inconceivable achievement, given the existing circumstances and challenges!
At the same time, collection of bone marrow samples from IDF soldiers at the Induction Center continues as usual.
5,100 new potential donors join the Registry
798 families Cancer patient support
Children with cancer are totally isolated from the staff due to their sensitive medical situation, but the staff members supporting them are investing creative efforts into keeping the children happy! Craft kits and games were sent to the hospital wards and Ezer Mizion’s Wildlife Pavilion has gone online, with filmed stories and live broadcasts from the site of the animals so beloved by the children.
In addition, patients undergoing treatments still have the option of being hosted at Ezer Mizion’s Oranit cancer patient guest home, along with a family member escort.
Mentoring and babysitting services, as well as consultations with professionals, are also continuing to function.
1883 recipients of aid
Aside from the stepped-up mental health hotlines and additional services that continue functioning in every possible form, we were excited to hear about the close contact that is being maintained at this time between mental health clients and their rehab staff and coaches. For example, a coach who would come every Erev Shabbat to accompany her client cooking in her kitchen — continues meeting with her regularly via “Zoom.” The program enables them to see each other and engage in a “cooking competition,” while communicating openly and naturally.
The sheltered work facilities, which serve as a place of occupation and rehabilitation for mental health clients — are open for small groups, in accordance with Health Department directives, and the coaching of clients working in the free market, so vital for their rehabilitation, continues as well.
The “Briyuta” club also continues to function! Though they cannot visit the fitness gym and attend workshops on site, all of the service recipients received a kit for home use, with recommended fitness exercises, tips for daily scheduling, healthful recipes, and more.
It’s hard to describe how critical a continued stable routine is for the mental health clients’ rehabilitative process. A round of applause for the staff!
329 recipients of aid
Children and toddlers
The children constantly talk about how they miss the staff in the preschools. Every child in the Ezer Mizion preschools got a loving reminder call from the teacher, along with a newsletter for the parents. The families also get ongoing telephone and online guidance from the paramedical staff, to avert a break in the continuity of therapy. At the same time, the staff has gone over to online direction for the teachers and paramedical staff, guiding them towards adapted therapy suited for this period.
The learning clubs — continue by “remote control.” Counseling and emotional support for the children’s parents also is being carried on, with great dedication.
The Information and Counseling Center for parental support is like a breath of fresh air for the parents. It is no easy challenge to spend time with these children and keep them occupied for such a long period at home. Many parents find a listening ear, as well as important information to help them cope — thanks to the Center’s work. Recently, they even offered an online lecture for parents.
Active Nurturing Playground —The worldwide Coronavirus crisis led the Bernard Van Leer Foundation to contact Ezer Mizion’s developmental programs department and request professional materials for development and advancement of the parents and children from home. At this very time, English-language materials are being created, which will be distributed by the Foundation on a national level.
Loan of medical and rehabilitative equipment
Not only have the hours not been cut down, but, in response to the demand in the field, services have been expanded to 9 a.m to 8 p.m.! The devoted staff is working non-stop! On the holidays, as well, the center will be open in the mornings (from 9:30 to 11:30) to provide a response to the general public.
4,711 seniors and their family members
The precious seniors supported by the division throughout the year now require double and triple caution.
On the other hand, the technological solutions serving the general public aren’t always an option for them, at their age.
The dedication of the geriatric service branches and the support staff is very moving. It includes cautious home visits, in case of necessity, ongoing phone calls, and creative solutions to maintain contact and ensure a sense of vitality in the seniors supported by the division.
In one recent conversation, Rachel Markowitz, a Holocaust survivor and member of the Geriatric Services’ Eshnav program, couldn’t find the words to express her gratitude for the love and concern being showered on her at this time. She asked to give the following message to the organization’s staff: “Just tell them, ‘Am Yisrael Chai!’”
Medical counseling and referrals
Both of the division’s units are available and busy, these days, too, providing counseling and referral services and accompanying and coordinating callers with medical cases.
The staff’s capabilities, diligence, and sense of responsibility in dealing with each call — continue to surprise us. For example, a woman who called to ask for a recommendation of a doctor for an urgent surgical treatment managed to get an appointment with one of the top specialists in the desired field that same week, thanks to the division’s dedicated work. “I didn’t know about you until now. For two days, I’ve been on the phone with the an administrative agency, getting nowhere. And with one phone call to you, I received an excellent and speedy solution!”
The service will continue functioning actively through Pesach!
Matan Nechalim Day Center for disabled young adults
The day center for young adults with disabilities was open until right before Pesach, thanks to the endless dedication of the staff. The participants enjoyed exercise rooms, art, multimedia, grassy lawns, and the other activities on site, while adhering closely to Health Department directives.
We discovered that even at a distance of two meters, you can enjoy a variety of diverse activities and social life.
For those who preferred not coming in for activities, a kit was sent to their home, including cake, a mask hand-sewn by them, a weekly bulletin with a worksheet, stories and quizzes.
In order to keep up the morale and the social circle even when the place is closed for Pesach, an individual infrastructure for online learning from the home was set up for each of the participants, including accessibility options for the home and loan of adapted equipment.
1,778 rides to the hospital
952 beneficiaries of special projects
13,067 purchases of medications for the elderly and quarantined
1,376 purchases of food for the elderly and quarantined
40,668 distributions of food to families of cancer patients, social service recipients, and through projects in collaboration with local municipalities
Wishing you and your families, along with the entire Jewish people,
a happy and kosher Pesach, a holiday of deliverance, and full physical and emotional health.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu, have compassion on Your people, “Appoint guardians upon your city all day and all night; illuminate the dark of night as with the light of day”
and may we all merit