A Volunteer from Elad Speaks…


Yerucham Turner, a volunteer at the Ezer Mizion’s Elad branch, speaks.
About 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 feel I must give voice to what I see. I would like to share just a few cases and glimmers of light that I was privileged to see with my own eyes during this past year.
For 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 other 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 murdered early this past summer and 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.
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, all absorbing the Ezer Mizion maxim of caring and compassion in gigantic doses but always coupled with dignity and respect.
For further info: http://www.ezermizion.org

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