In a quiet moshav, an enigmatic natural phenomenon is going on. Unfathomable chessed is being done by youths who have chosen to enable parents and families of special-needs children to vacation.
Bein Hazemanim (vacation). Families are on the road from here to there. Yeshivas are traveling to summer camp. And those who aren’t — go out on day trips, looking for a change of atmosphere, at the seaside or on trails throughout our beautiful Land of Israel, to gather strength for the year to come. Continue reading Special Needs – Special Opportunities
It feels good to give. Seeing the joy on another person’s face because of something that you did is an experience that cannot be defined. I know about that. I joined Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life awhile back. L2L is a WhatsApp group that can be called for rides, deliveries of vital supplies and a zillion other requests by people who are dealing with serious illness. Continue reading The View from Both Ends of Giving
It’s interesting. When I was in second grade, my math teacher told me that if we take away, the total amount is less. When I grew up, I found it wasn’t true. If giving my time, my energy, my expertise made me have less in the end, then why would I and 9,000 of my fellow Linked to Life members race to click on any request that comes in and do our best to respond whenever possible? Second grade math teachers notwithstanding, giving away plusses so much more to our lives. Continue reading Linked to Life: One Week
Their mother has cancer and is in a very precarious condition. Her situation is shaky. The family is shaky. And terrified. And numb. And overwhelmed. And beaten. And disoriented. All at once.
it’s all about giving. A day of fun, of pampering can work wonders for the spirit. I ask them what they would want. Unable to think past their dire situation, they say, “A trip to Teverya, to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes, to daaven for Ima to have a nes, a miracle…
Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life is not staffed by mere people. It is staffed by angels. When there are angels along the way, things looks different…
It starts with a phone call to Shmulik of Ezer Mizion’s Transport Division, who works on the logistics for the family trip to Teverya.
Family bonding. A vitamin called ‘Pleasure’ to strengthen the spirit. Vital ingredients for this Special Day. And so it gets better: First thing in the morning Yishai, the nicest volunteer driver in the world, reports at the door with a huge smile and takes them for a banana boat ride on the Kinneret, funding donated by SL from Teverya. Smiles are contagious and tentative replicas begin to appear on the faces of the family.
And even better: They continue on to a gourmet meal at the Caesar Hotel, funding donated by AAA from Caesarea. Long-forgotten feelings of happiness well up in them as they continue their day of pampering.
They reach the gravesites of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in Teverya and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron and daven with every fiber of their being. Their arms around each other, they leave strengthened. They’re a family. They can cope.
More Vitamin P, shared together, empowering them for the difficult days ahead: a fantastic performance to suit their mood (funded by MH from Hadera) tops off the day.
Because that’s the way it is with Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life in Israel, when there are people there who care about you, who are sensitive to your needs and want with all their heart to pamper you…
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.
Giving. It’s the wheel that makes the world go around. Some people have discovered its joys and thrive on ‘being there’ for a friend or neighbor with a problem. The Kakoons are such a family. Avrohom Kakoon acts as a chazzan (cantor) and spiritual leader at his shul (synagogue). In his spare time, he also volunteers as an emergency respondent for Hatzalah. His wife, Rina, volunteers as a doula, coaches new mothers and young families in managing their home and in parenting, and also cooks and bakes for families of women after birth. As infants, their seven children imbibed the satisfaction that accompanies giving and the sense of responsibility for those less fortunate. Helping families after birth, running a used clothing center, mentoring youngsters in the community. Driving an ambulance, heading a branch of United Hatzalah, helping out families in the community who are undergoing crises, activity clubs for young people in the community. The Kakoon siblings are involved in all of these. How can they not be? It was the ambience in the home they grew up in.
When the family discovered Ezer Mizion, they clicked with the organization like a magnet to a paper clip. An entity that does not recognize 9-5 hours, whose founder routinely gives out his private cell phone number to recently orphaned children and tells them to call anytime, whose teenage volunteers vie with their friends to obtain an unpaid position in Ezer Mizion’s summer camp for special kids… Ezer Mizion was the perfect partner for the Kakoons.
They helped out in any way they could. One has even undertaken to head the Ezer Mizion’s Modi’in Linked to Life group and another its counterpart in the Migdal HaEmek area. Linked to Life is a What’s App Center which connects people throughout Israel and even Europe, the US and Canada in order to provide for the needs of people around the globe. A surgical device is needed and can’t wait for regular mail. A man from Eretz Yisroel forgot his vital medication and realizes it only when he a several thousand feet in the air, on his way to California. A wheelchair-bound young man living in the North would like to spend Pesach with his family in Jerusalem and needs a ride in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Hundreds of people like this are constantly being helped by heads of groups like the Kakoons and the volunteers who drop what they are doing at a buzz of their phone and race out to help a person in trouble.
Avrohom and Rina planted strong seeds which continue to flourish into the next generation. Last summer vacation, while her peers were having fun in the pool and park, Avivah, a granddaughter, discovered another kind of fun. She gathered a group of friends and set up a refreshment stand. The girls popped popcorn and prepared gallons of drinks to sell to passersby. The money? It was donated to Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Division to help sick children, of course. Ezer Mizion welcomes Avivah as its newest volunteer and awaits her latest ideas to help those less fortunate than herself. Congratulations, Avivah! You have discovered the much sought after key to happiness.
EZER MIZION: ISRAEL’S HEALTH SUPPORT FOR THE ILL & THE AGED
Since 2007 Ezer Mizion has been chosen as a participant in the U.S. government program’s Combined Federal Campaign that offers federal employees the opportunity of making contributions to non-profit organizations by payroll deductions. Continue reading CFC