“Hello, Ezer Mizion, this is the medical transport division…”
“Thank you, this is T. Would it be possible please to have a transport for tomorrow morning, going at 10:00 a.m. and returning at 1:00 p.m.?” – “Certainly, with pleasure. Please call and confirm again tonight.”
That is the pleasantness and good feeling that we witness again and again at Ezer Mizion, an organization that has long ago become a model of exceptional public service, especially for the ill and disabled. The service is wonderful, reliable, and punctual, and they maintain full confidentiality.
In the evening, when we call to confirm, we again feel the radiating pleasantness and empathy. The actual transport staff also gives such a good feeling. They are friendly and upbeat and do their work with their entire heart.
Thank you to all those involved, and especially to Mrs. Dassy, who orchestrates the entire network.
Wishing you continued strength to do your work with joy!
Thank You, Lottie’s Kitchen
In Hadassah’s outpatient clinic, I sit near my wife on a chair,
Along with many patients who’ve come from far and near.
Each one is hooked up to IV, getting chemo to cure his disease
Perhaps the powerful drugs will alleviate and ease.
As I sit there, my stomach rumbling, I wonder – what will be???
As an escort, I get no hospital meal, and I’m ravenously hungry…
Just then, in walk some women, their bags bulging and cheery
With food in all shapes and size – pareve, meat, and dairy.
For those who want something lighter, there’s a fresh and luscious roll.
I choose the tray of pareve food – it revives me, body and soul!
I thought of the chessed you do with love that’s sincere and real.
Thank you, Ezer Mizion, for the tasty and heartwarming meal!
Dano Monkotowich, Jerusalem Branch Coordinator
From Dano I learned a new definition for the term “alternative medicine.”
“Patients and their families appreciate what our work does only after we are not on the scene anymore. A worried family member sits next to his loved one’s room in the hospital chewing at his nails or hunting for an outlet where he can charge his cell phone. He’s nervous, concerned, frightened.
Suddenly an Ezer Mizion volunteer passes by with his refreshments cart and offers him a Danish pastry. The fellow thanks him with a blank expression, opens the wrapper, and eats the cake. The volunteer has already continued on his way. He is already on the next floor, in a different ward. Meanwhile, downstairs, the person pulls off half of the pastry and gives it to his sick relative. They finish munching, flick away the crumbs, and suddenly grasp what ‘alternative medicine’ is.”
Dano is right. It’s not the Danish. It’s the secret ingredient. The compassionate smile. The pat on the shoulder. The sympathetic words of encouragement. It’s the giver, even more than what is given. You are sitting there in the oncology ward at your low point. You have forgotten that you didn’t put a thing in your mouth the entire day. It is not even ‘alternative medicine’. It is medicine itself and without the pain that often comes with medical treatment. Plain and simple. Both the patient and the family member feel so much better. Someone noticed them as a person- not a vein to jab or a form to fill out. Someone understands what they are going through. Someone cares.
Every day, Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen volunteers walk through hospital wards on regular routes at set hours and distribute their alternative medicine- pastries, hot meals, sandwiches, and drinks- to patients and their families. The ‘treatment’ affects not only the patient and family member but also the Lottie’s Kitchen volunteer. “It feels good to give,” they all say once they have tasted the experience.
“A few years ago,” Dano says, “we launched a project to recruit volunteers, with an interesting theme: Couples. The couples, usually parents of children, took upon themselves one or more volunteer rounds a week. They walk or drive to the hospital, load the meals onto the wagon, and go through the wards to distribute them. What were the results? Patients and their families whose pain was lessened, a greatly strengthened volunteer network, and, as a bonus: greatly enhanced matrimony. There is something about this joint work of doing chessed for others that does wonders for their marriage. I am willing to wager that on their way home, the couple has already forgotten all about the fights they had that afternoon and the entire week before.”
You know what I found most interesting in this whole story? Think about it. When someone you know has to be in the hospital, chas v’shalom and suddenly an energetic young man or woman sporting an Ezer Mizion shirt comes over and offers you a sandwich, does it seem strange to you? Unexpected? No, not at all. You know why? Because Ezer Mizion has become synonymous with giving. We have grown accustomed to it. And as far as I’m concerned, this pleasant routine, this naturalness with which we accept the Ezer Mizion giving– that is the biggest story of all.
A family member is seriously ill. The family enters crisis mode. All energy-physical and emotional- is centered on the sick relative. Nothing remains for routine needs.
Yet routine needs remain and must be met.
Ezer Mizion’s Food Distribution Division has undertaken the responsibility of providing hot, nourishing meals for the entire family during the duration of the crisis.
And what is Ezer Mizion’s Food Distribution Division? It is not an entity. It is not a cold, professional office. It is comprised of people. Caring people. Mothers busy with their own lives. Women who are willing to give of their time and energy to shop, peel, slice, fry, bake and package the main course for these countless meals.
Salary? There is none. Only the satisfaction of helping another Jew. Continue reading The Main Course Cooks