She could have been living down the block from us but no one knew. She was a victim of terror with psychological wounds that never healed. Physically she was not in good shape either. She had been diagnosed in February with a severe lung infection and was extremely weak. Alone in Israel and helpless, she turned to the only address she knew. And that was how an Ezer Mizion director found a heartrending email in her inbox. Continue reading When Words and Tomatoes Join Together to Create One Big Hug
“Think, everyone, think!” she cried out. “There has to be something! Something we can do even in the midst of corona.” We all sat there. We’re normally a creative bunch but the ideas were just not coming. Every year we hosted a retreat for families dealing with cancer. It was the highlight of the year for them, a time to bond with their family, good food, fun entertainment – a vacation from cancer. Away from hospitals and tests and treatments. Something to put a smile on faces that almost forgot how. It meant everything to the families whom, in addition to the medical situation, were suffering so much emotionally with many family relationships on the verge of collapse. Continue reading Think!
Maccabi Health Services known as Kupat Cholim Maccabi, is one of the four HMOs in Israel with over 2 million members and is considered an influential institution in regards to the Israeli healthcare system. Maccabi members benefit from diverse health services but there are many, many instances where help is needed. As Maccabi staff members can testify, Ezer Mizion is the address to turn to. Ezer Mizion’s goal: to be there for others. Their means: a professional, extensive network willing to think out of box in order to benefit the ill. Time and time again, when standard routine would not allow for the patient’s receiving what he needs, a call was made to the number they all knew by heart and the walls came tumbling down. Continue reading Maccabi Salutes Ezer Mizion
He’s turning thirteen and still living in a Corona hotel. He has Downs Syndrome and just ‘doesn’t get it’. His Bar Mitzvah will pass with nothing happening???. But his parents have their hands full and the logistics were overwhelming. Ezer Mizion has taken care of him since birth and will not abandon him now. The ‘boss’ himself was consulted and the menu based around his choices (sour sticks and candies). Every minute detail was handled to create the celebration of the century. Hotel guests were invited since there is no social distancing regulation at the hotel and our Bar Mitzvah boy was thrilled. How did the mother put it? “We’re at the stage when our situation doesn’t really interest anyone anymore. But the Ezer Mizion ‘champions of Tiveria’ don’t run out of steam. More treats, more events, everything possible for the Corona patients ‘imprisoned’ in the hotels…”
A family of nine still living at a Corona hotel. Very little clothing had been taken, not anticipating such a long stay. Continue reading We’re Here for Them
Tens of thousands of missions were shared with Israel’s Home Front Command! And Israel’s seniors, seriously ill, and people in quarantine were the first to benefit from it. Each mission accompanied with so much love!
Recently, to the sound of ongoing applause, the Home Front Command awarded Ezer Mizion a Certificate of Appreciation for dedicated partnership throughout the recent battle. A big “hats off” to Ezer Mizion’s team: our friends and supporters, staff and volunteers!Even as the ‘goodbye’s to corona’ have begun, the needs have not yet ended. Says Moshe Beeri, director of Ezer Mizion’s Northern Region: “Via 350 What’s App groups, we help thousands of people and families. We are in contact with the municipalities and the social services entities, and we deal with 2,000 calls and requests a day from across the country. Thanks to our volunteers, very many people feel that they have help and support during this period of hardship and that they are not alone.”
A volunteer has enlisted her five children to do supermarket shopping for an elderly couple who cannot leave their home. She and other volunteers cook and distribute meals for those who are unable to manage on their own.
Decorative fruit platters were just one of the ways to cheer up a hospitalized cancer patient who had recently undergone a transplant.
He energetically plans a trip (not easy with corona regulations) for Ezer Mizion’s special needs children in Ashdod, finds a partner who donates the cost of a bus and gasoline, and together they serve as guides for the children and their accompanying staff for two days of a refreshing experience! The highlight was a visit to the petting zoo in Kefar Hanagid, where a blissful 17-year-old boy said: “For a whole month, I’ve been shut up in the house. You made me so happy!” Here are David and Nissim, the bus drivers with the golden hearts! David, the driver, mentors one of our special kids all year round, through Ezer Mizion’s Social Services Mentoring Department for Family Empowerment.
About 6 weeks ago, a couple left Corona-battered Italy and arrived with their four children to an empty rental apartment in Beit Shemesh. During their compulsory two-week isolation, during which they slept on thin mattresses and used coats as pillows, a friend from abroad gave them the phone number of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a WhatsApp network group for delivering items to people in need.
A message to the group: “Friends, we have a family here with four kids that just arrived from Milan and, due to the situation, they left Italy without any of their possessions. They have nothing — literally!!! Let’s try to help them!”
The message spread within minutes. The results: Religious, Chareidi, and secular alike all rallied to help. “Every ten minutes, someone drops a package at our door. Games, linens, food…”
Another neighbor opened a special headquarters, and before long, Ezer Mizion volunteers rallied to donate beds, electrical appliances, furniture, blankets, and linens to the family.. “We asked them what they needed, and all they requested was yogurt. In Italy, the yogurt isn’t kosher and the kids really wanted to taste one. They got their yogurt and so much more ”
A volunteer of grandfather vintage writes:
I went out today to distribute food. With lots of energy and good will, I came to collect the packages and got a list. Third floor, fourth floor, etc. No elevators. Ah, occasionally there was a ground floor…
Do I need to go up or do they come down? I tried to clarify. Continue reading Two Letters/ Two Sides
Slowly but surely, we are settling into the Corona routine after trying weeks of extreme uncertainty. These days, more than ever, Ezer Mizion amazing power has shown bright once again. The tapestry of chessed that emerged and intensified in the last weeks revealed a vast empire of sensitivity and sincere empathy with people’s needs at all levels!
From North to South of Israel and beyond, from morning to night and then some, in numerous service areas and activities and to all segments of the Israeli population, Ezer Mizion has touched tens of thousands of needs and lives!
Asa’el lost his mother and his three brothers in a horrible terrorist attack at their home in Itamar. He himself lost a leg. He could have been embittered about his situation, but, with great courage, he chose not to fall into that black hole, and instead to devote himself to giving. It began with his volunteering to purchase medications for an elderly couple and snowballed into his joining the 12,000 Ezer Mizion Linked to Life volunteers who are providing such vital services during the crisis of delivering hot meals, groceries, supplies and medicine to quarantined patients and seniors in the area. “I absorbed the great dedication and giving from my mother, A’H. This is carrying on her legacy of giving.” What can we say? A real hero!
Yotam Base, near Eilat:
Moriah, an IDF scout lookout somewhere out there on the Southern army base needed special medication. A call went out via Linked to Life. Within one minute (!), a volunteer responded. And no, it wasn’t “on his way”! He made a special 7.5 hour round trip drive for this!
Moriah: “I am in shock that a person should make such a long trip for people he doesn’t even know and with no personal interest! It’s inconceivable!” Don’t you agree?
Yehuda, a young adult with special needs, recently acquired a new friend. A devoted volunteer calls him on a regular basis. At times they learn together; at times they just chat. ‘It’s the highlight of his day,’ says his mother.
Corona patients staying at the hotel had no way to wash their clothes… The huge hotel laundry facilities are not available for the patients’ personal clothing and a real challenge developed with a lack of clean clothing for the interned patients who are not permitted to leave the premises. A donation was acquired to fund the purchase of a washing machine, a U-haul was hooked up manned by Ezer Mizion volunteers, and the machine was delivered at the Maaleh Hachamishah hotel for the patients’ use!
Moshe’s catering business is nil these days. Bitter? Angry? Instead Moshe has opened his business to provide meals for Ezer Mizion recipients. Kudos, Moshe!
An army of volunteers, wearing masks and gloves, distributed 110 fragrant potted plants to the homes of Holocaust survivors in the city, adding color and vitality to their houses at this lonely time and a total of 1,800 plants delivered to survivors in 25 cities and towns around Israel.
340 bags of love were distributed to the homes of survivors, bearing candies, chocolates, scented sticks, a flower and a personal note.
After weeks of close collaboration with the Municipality, the Home Front Command, and the city’s emergency services, city Mayor Yair Drori had a clear message to deliver about the local Ezer Mizion branch: “You are our city’s outstanding model of chessed and civic involvement!”
From the files of Ezer Mizion Sheba-Tel Hashomer Branch The wife of the Myanmar ambassador in Israel was hospitalized in serious condition in Tel Hashomer, and she needed medical equipment for the process of recovery and rehabilitation. They were stunned to find that not only was the medical equipment made available to them, complete with professional advice, instruction and continued support during use but they were apprised of many other services to help them out. What seemed so natural for us was anything but natural for them. Their own situation led them to notice others. What is made available to a cancer patient, to the elderly, the mentally ill, the special child. The innovative services provided during Covid-19. ” We never saw anything like this anywhere in the world!! It is not self-understood in the least. We will pass this on to the residents of our country.” Their words, in turn, gave us a perspective. We looked in the mirror and saw caring. We saw understanding of another’s plight. We felt empowered. And it gave us strength to do even more.
Nechalim Unable to have contact with the severely handicapped young adults of the Day Care Center, did the staff simply go home? Of course not. They are using the time to make improvements in the building and grounds. Why? Just because they love ‘their’ kids.
Linked to Life Network 3000 requests per day to transport medicines and medical equipment from drugstores and Kupot Cholim to the homes of patients, seniors, and people in quarantine.
Sheba-Tel Hashomer Medical Center A sick girl in Tel Hashomer. The staff is waiting tensely for the results of the important external biopsy, but the results are delayed! Sometimes, even medical staffs encounter bureaucratic delays and experience helplessness, as they simply do not know whom to turn to in order to get the fastest possible response! A call to our Medical Counseling and Referral Department brought the slow process to a speedy conclusion. Within a few minutes, we received the following message: “The clarification that you just did for us would have taken us a great deal of time, which would have hurt the girl’s chances of recovery! Thanks to you — now, we can help her in a timely way!”
Netivot A widow living with her 30-year-old severely autistic daughter who does not leave her alone for a moment is now getting regular breaks with trained volunteers taking over, all corona rules complied with.
Modi’in Illit 300 craft kits with gifts delivered to children of seriously ill parents and orphans.
Social Services Dept. Mentors dispatched to families in which mother is mentally ill to coach mother minute by minute in care of family providing both a nurtured family and a feeling of success in mother.
Ofakim Volunteer found to learn over phone with young man with special needs- the brightest spot in his day, says his mother.
Medical Referral Dept. An elderly woman needs regular injections to prevent deteriorating eyesight. Corona is preventing her from traveling to clinic. Several phone calls later: mission accomplished.
Nachalom Day Care Center A staff member came in right after Pesach. (We’re on vacation but she missed ’her girls’.) She baked chalos with them a’ la zoom.
AAC (Communication Devices) An autistic girl was hospitalized in Laniado with Corona. I prepared specific boards, while remotely controlling the hospital iPad and checking communication needs. From a girl who was strapped to her bed and drugged to control her wildness, she turned into a patient who could communicate with the staff.
In spite of the serious effects of the Coronavirus in Italy, a cancer patient there received a bone marrow donation from Israel • Director of Ezer Mizion’s Registry: “A tremendous mission”
In the shadow of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world and its especially harsh effects in Italy, a lifesaving stem cell donation was sent last Wednesday from a donor in Israel to a cancer patient in Italy. For that patient, this delivery of stem cells was a ticket to recovery and life! This feat was accomplished thanks to Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which continues functioning despite the unprecedented challenges of this trying period.
At Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport handover hub, an Ezer Mizion Registry representative personally delivered the small package of stem cells to a courier who came especially for this mission from Germany. The courier then transported the stem cells to the hospital in Italy.
More than one million potential stem cell donors who each gave a DNA sample are listed in the Registry. In practice, all the registries in the world are connected via an online network, enabling them to coordinate among themselves when necessary.
In a conversation with Yisrael Hayom, Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of the Registry, explained the process and discussed the continued activity of the Registry in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. “First a search is done within the family for a matching stem cell donor. Medical teams of patients who do not find a match in the family, search in the international registry network, which pinpoints potential genetically matching donors in registries around the world. In this case, after they saw that we have a matching donor, an official request was submitted to Ezer Mizion’s Registry for workup and stem cell collection.”
Regarding Ezer Mizion’s important work during these complex times, Zisser said: “The situation is especially problematic due to the fact that these patients, who are receiving chemotherapy treatments, cannot wait for six months or until the Coronavirus problem will be resolved. Our primary challenge is how to send the bone marrow unit when so many of the flight routes have been shut down.
“In this area, both the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council cooperated with us successfully, and I am happy to say that the right solutions were found, with the help of airport authorities. In spite of the difficult course in this challenging time, the stem cell unit reached its destination. Here is another tremendous mission of saving a life,” she summed up with satisfaction.
Coronavirus – its tentacles have entered every area of our lives. Schools, shuls, work, stores…all closed. Weddings planned in detail for months are held in primitive standards with few attendees. And then there are the sick. A young mother with leukemia has been waiting in hope and prayer for a genetic match to be found so that she may receive the stem cell transplant that will save her life. At long last, one was found! He has an appointment at the hospital to donate his stem cells. Her life will be saved. Will it happen?
Ezer Mizon operates one of the few stem cell collection centers in the world located outside of a hospital setting. Ezer Mizion has accepted this significant undertaking in order to ensure that patients in need of stem cell transplants that these hospitals provide can receive this lifesaving treatment. We are proud to be part of another Covid-19 collaborative, working together in these trying times with other entities to ensure the success of our shared lifesaving mission.
All of Ezer Mizion’s varied departments have rallied to the cause. Linked to Life, a network which organizes rides and transportation of vital needs worldwide, has been greatly involved. Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Division provides aid and support throughout the year to mental health patients and their families. This aid is vital to enable them to maintain a normal life routine, especially at this time of instability.
A request went out to a group in Bnai Brak on Wednesday at 10:06 PM:
We need your help to get out a small aid kit to the patients to ease these difficult days for them. We cannot provide them with a cure, but we can and must make life easier and more manageable for them. Task: To take envelopes with kits for distribution to families of mental health patients in Bnei Brak — 250 addresses.to be put down outside the door. The information and details of the family written on the envelope are confidential. Who can help with the distribution?
[Mar. 18, 10:08 p.m.] Response from dispatcher:
Listen to me and listen well. You never in your life saw such a thing…More than 200 addresses were taken by you angels of chessed.in two minutes. May we merit a yeshuah very very soon!
I have tears in my eyes. I’m sure you do, too! May Hashem pay you your just reward!