A Chinese auction held in Israel was a case in point. There were over 100,000 entries, each one bar-coded and entered into the auction. Except one. It received its bar code but did not become an auction entry. The program- perfect in every way-botched this one entry. It was only discovered after the auction took place. Now what? True, the vast majority of entries did not win a prize but this one never had a chance to win. We can’t simply keep the donation, said the organizers. And so, with trepidation, the call was made.
Ezer Mizion: Hello, good evening. I’m calling from Ezer Mizion about an unpleasant incident and I apologize in advance…
Donor: What happened…?
Ezer Mizion: Well, it shouldn’t have happened, but it did happen… I feel very bad about this. I can’t believe it happened. It’s… Well, it’s like this. You donated NIS 990 to our Chinese Auction and you even selected a printer as your automatic prize, and, to our deep regret, your entry did not enter the Auction raffle due to a technical glitch that shouldn’t have happened. Of course, we’ll return the money to you and also send you the printer
Donor: I am in shock…! Chaya, come here a minute and listen to what’s happening here… Ezer Mizion calls me up and tells me that our envelope didn’t enter the Chinese Auction…
It’s silent for a few seconds while I think to myself: ‘He’s really upset. He’s telling his wife and now they’re both furious at us.’ After what seemed to me to be a year, he came back to the phone.
It’s amazing what transpired here. You are angels… Human beings don’t behave like that… We always knew that you’re not just another chessed organization!
We saw it when my wife had cancer and was hospitalized in Shaarei Tzedek, all the physical and emotional help that we got from your department 24 hours a day. You cannot imagine what I feel right now.
(And then, in a voice choked with emotion, he says to me) My wife got better baruch Hashem, and you still call from time to time to see how she is doing…
And now, the integrity to call up even when it is something less pleasant… I am absolutely flabbergasted by your conduct. If you hadn’t told us, we never would have known that our entry never went in. I should have realized that an organization such as yours would never dream of keeping money that is not absolutely 100% legit.
I’m leaving the donation with you, of course. I’d also like to set up an appointment in your office to discuss an addition to my donation.