You may have sat next to her on the bus to Yerushalayim. Her name is Esther and she looks like any other typical frum woman. She doesn’t wear a sign but she is one of those special Ezer Mizion women who glow with the satisfaction that comes with giving. She already changed busses and has been traveling for almost two hours with another arduous trip to look forward to at the end of the day. Maybe she’ll sleep a bit on the way home. She’s going to be tired. Very tired. She will be spending several hours at the home of a mother who has given birth to multiples. What will she be doing there? It’s different each time. Some mothers can’t face the ever-growing pile of laundry and apologetically ask her if she can tackle it. It means the world to their emotional well-being to know that every sock in its right place. Other mothers don’t mind the clutter but want their family to come home to the aroma of a delicious supper and ask her to prepare a vegetable soup to use for the whole week. And still others, eyes drooping from tiredness, hand her one of the babies to rock as their heads blissfully touch the pillow, a rarity these days. Esther is happy to help no matter what she’s asked to do. Helping others is the gas that keeps her going. She, like most Ezer Mizion volunteers, thrive on giving. There is no salary, no dinner given in her honor, no reward points for hours logged. Yet, an Ezer Mizion volunteer canceling a commitment almost never happens. Why? What’s keep them going? Why don’t they take a day off every so often? Esther answers for all of them: “Why would I give up something that brings me such joy just to have a relaxed day at home?!”
Many have school-age children and feel that having Mommy volunteer is the best education they can give their kids. Of course, they make sure they are home when their kids need them. “My kids know that during ‘rush hour’ I am not available to answer the phone but if an Ezer Mizion coordinator calls, they call me to the phone. It gives them a sense of values without my ever saying a word on the importance of chessed.
No salary can compare to the reward of giving. Chani is a case in point. She works full time and spends her day off doing volunteer work. Part of the day is feeding lunch to an elderly lady. Strange, isn’t it that when a toddler dribbles, spits out a spoonful that looks larger than what went in, splatters Mommy’s outfit with mashed peaches and takes over an hour to finish a meal—it’s adorable. But when his elderly counterpart does the same, it’s, well…not adorable. Chani has the patience to do this every week as do other volunteers who take the days that she is at work. However, there are many meals that the patient misses due to no one being available to spend the time and emotional energy feeding her. The patient’s family had what they considered an obvious solution. They would offer to pay Chani and perhaps she would come at other times. They understood that they cannot ask her to put in more volunteer hours but for pay? Of course, she’d agree. They didn’t get it. Money? No amount of money would be enough to pay for such an hour. But knowing that she was helping a helpless Jew —that was the salary that put a bounce in her step as she walked down the corridor toward the communal dining room and “her” patient.
Ezer Mizion…providing help to those who need and satisfaction to those who give.
For further info: 5225 New Utrecht Ave, Bk, NY 11219 718 853 8400 www.ezermizion .o