From a Volunteer’s Vantage Point

Yerucham Turner, a volunteer at the Ezer Mizion’s Elad branch, tells the public about the Elad branch’s marked expansion this year and about the tremendous work being quietly done here in the city every day.
pr general helping hand 2About a year ago, a moving article appeared in an Elad publication asking for local volunteers to join Ezer Mizion. The article spoke to me and, without hesitation, I knew I wanted to be part of this. Something unique began to grow in our city…quietly…unobtrusively… out of the spotlight.
And so, I joined, at first, as a volunteer driver to transport patients to and from the hospital. Slowly but surely, I learned more and more about this special organization and all the amazing work it does here in my city. The Elad volunteers are ordinary citizens from all sectors of the public and from all the different communities in the city. But Ezer Mizion arouses in them the common inner spark of generosity and the intrinsic desire to do good. Together, they work in wondrous unity and amazing efficacy on behalf of everyone, not for personal profit or publicity – but because we are all brothers.
Ezer Mizion’s volunteer network in the city was formulated within less than a year. Nevertheless, it is already big and extensive, branching off into a wide variety of areas. I am not a spokesman for Ezer Mizion, and thank G-d, our city is flowing with other special chessed organizations, but I cannot ignore what is going on. I would like to share just a few cases and glimmers of light that I was privileged to see with my own humble eyes during this past year.
pr mental musical_notes_2For example, I had the opportunity to participate in a musical Melave Malka, together with another thirty volunteers, in the home of a resident of the city who has cancer – a young father of six. Beyond the genuine joy at the event that broke down all barriers, his wife told me the next day, “It’s unbelievable. I got my husband back! Until yesterday, he was depressed and broken and wouldn’t eat anything. But since you all were here, he doesn’t stop speaking about you. The color returned to his face and his joie de vivre is back. He agreed to eat. You gave him hope.”
This family is just one example. I have seen how Ezer Mizion envelops these families with genuine caring. Volunteer drivers take them to the hospital for treatments and bring them home. Women volunteers cook hot meals for the family for the weekdays and for Shabbat. High school girls come to help with light household chores and play with the children. Volunteer teachers come to study with the children and do homework with them. Only people on the inside can grasp what this kind of help and chessed does for a family. Other volunteers take turns doing laundry and ironing, making sure the children have clean, pressed clothes. Hospital volunteers go to the hospital to visit the patient – and this is just for one family!!!
Unfortunately, the cases in our city are many, too many. There are so many people fighting cancer,– young parents and even little children, aside from otpr food deliveriesher cases of illness and hospitalization. But Ezer Mizion is everywhere, ready to help!
In almost every incident and tragedy in the city – they are there, efficient and unobtrusive. I remember that in the case of the kidnapping of Eyal Hy”d, one of the three boys that was kidnapped and murdered early this past summer, whose family lives in Elad, I was exposed to the sheer numbers of Ezer Mizion volunteers in the city. I saw how they all reported for duty, without exception, and helped in any way possible, day after day, how there was a feeling of being one family, of “All Jews are brothers.”
And how can we fail to mention Operation Protective Edge, when hundreds of residents of the South were hosted in our city for a long weekend – Thursday, Friday, Shabbat, and Sunday. There too, I witnessed the dimensions of Ezer Mizion and its strength, as well as the large number of volunteers. Everything was planned out, to the last detail, including programs and activities for the children. The parent shed tears of joy and said that for a month, their children had not even left the house.
Just a year ago, it was all a dream. Today, the Elad branch of Ezer Mizion is an accomplished fact. More than 300 wonderful volunteers are active in the branch – good people with a big heart, who want so much to help. The atmosphere is that of one big family, a family of chessed on behalf of the ill in the city and their families.
pr bldg DG857317Just a few weeks ago, the branch held an evening saluting the volunteers. But the real thanks go to the patients and their families for the kindness they do for us by giving us the privilege of coming to help. Good people are measured not only by the size of their smile, but also by the size of the smile they bring to others, and this is where the Ezer Mizion volunteers excel. More often than not, we come to give strength, but find ourselves strengthened by far! I hope and pray that we will always merit to be on the side of the givers and that our prayers should be well accepted. We will be happy to continue helping and relieving the burden at all times.

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