Posts Tagged ‘Purim’

The Beeps Keep Coming

March 22, 2017

helping-handsWe all remember what Purim was like. That special electricity in the air as we rush from house to house sharing shalach monos and Purim joy. A gorilla dancing with a rabbit to a lively Shoshanos Yaakov right there on Avenue J. Nearby a miniature Mordechai is gleefully riding a pony while “Haman” leads it, shouting “Thus shall be done…”

But for some, especially those who are members of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life Group, Purim had an added dimension this year with the special Purim joy multiplied a hundredfold. It was almost a beep a minute at Linked to Life and each request was answered, some within seconds. Come take a peek at what was behind each beep.

  • A little boy wants to be a fireman but his mother has cancer and has no strength to buy him a costume. Who can help?
  • We have 150 special kids who learned about shalach manos but won’t be receiving any? Can someone donate them?
  • A small boy with leukemia is dreaming of a special costume. No one can find it anywhere. Any volunteer to custom sew it for him?
  • There’s a patient at the oncology ward who is so depressed that she is missing Purim. We need lots of volunteers to bring shalach manos and smiles.
  • We’re on duty here at the firehouse all day. Can someone come to read the megillah for us?
  • There’s a large group of patients at Shaar Menashe Hospital with not a sign of Purim. Can anyone arrange a lebedike party? Who can provide food? Music? Costumed dancers?
  • A cancer patient has no family. I have a list of all her favorites but I’m out of town. Can someone put together a ‘personalized’ shalach monos?

Purim is over. The beeps are less frequent but still coming in.

  • To New York branch of Linked to Life:Baruch is a 5-year – old cancer patient who is arriving from Israel and landing in Newark at 6:00 PM. He is able to eat only cooked white rice and, what with all the paraphernalia needed for this medical trip, his parents forgot his container of white rice. Can someone meet them at Newark airport with a meal for this child who will have had nothing to eat for so many hours?
  • Urgent! Urgent! Urgent! Looking for a volunteer to bring a prosthetic hand from London to Israel today! The prosthesis can be brought to any location in London and picked up from any place in Israel…If you know of someone flying today from London to Israel, please call Zevulun ASAP

Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life…where no Jew is ever alone.

Like to join Linked to Life from any country around the world? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8500

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A Purim Happening

March 15, 2017

clownSpecial children are unique. Their abilities are unique. Their understanding is unique. Their needs are unique. Should that mean that they cannot participate in the joy of Purim, a day that is often termed ‘the children’s holiday’?  Is it possible to create a unique Purim atmosphere, geared especially for them?

A ‘Special’ Purim carnival?

 

The Ezer Mizion Special Carnival was a happening! Over 100 attended. The children were on a high. Their parents were riding right with them on cloud nine, ecstatic that these precious children were able to experience a Purim in a way that they never could have accomplished.

 

 

The carnival is in full swing. Come on in, dear reader, and lets take a peak. In every corner, there are volunteer clowns dancing with the children and creating that electric Purim atmosphere. There’s a live band that doesn’t allow anyone’s feet to remain still. Shmuly is getting a shoulder ride on one clown. Another one is letting Yossi “beep” his nose.

Dovi is wearing a mask that he just finished creating at the “Mask Booth”. Shuey is getting in line so he can make an even funnier one.

 

Wearing their new masks Shuey and Yitzy run to the Petting Zoo. Yitzy tries to put a mask on the rabbit but he doesn’t like it. His counselor helps him put the mask back on his own face and Yitzy settles down on the floor.  His face lights up as the counselor gently places a hamster on his lap. With one finger, he tentatively strokes the hamster’s soft fur. Shuey is holding a rabbit and softly singing Mi Shenichnas Adar to him. (On this glorious afternoon of miracles, we would not be surprised to hear the rabbit sing along.)

 

maskAt the far corner at the Balloon Booth, Avi and Nachy are watching in fascination as a red balloon suddenly becomes a horse and a blue one is transformed into an elephant. The counselor offers them the chance to create faces for them and the boys happily sit down to work on their masterpieces to take home to show Mommy and their siblings. It’s not often that they have something so special to bring home to their families.

 

Chaim races over to Avi, his best friend, and, with a flourish, hands him a package. “It’s Shalach monos,”he shouts in glee. “I made it myself!” He sure did! At the Purim Kitchen Booth where the children were able to make their own chocolate rum balls for shalach monos.  Everywhere you look, some little boys are handing brightly colored packages out to their friends. Others are clutching them tight, planning to give them to Mommy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Wow! There’s Zalmy almost as high as the sky. He’s jumping on the blown-up castle with Levi. Soon they topple in a heap of arms and legs, romping in delight.

 

Who’s that? It looks like a short clown, only three feet high. Oh, it’s Moshie. Looks like he’s been to the Make-up Booth where the volunteers gave him a terrific clown face. There he is dancing with one of the grown-up clowns, in rapturous ecstasy.

 

Soon this heavenly day began winding down. Ezer Mizion certainly didn’t expect the children to be able to settle down for a quiet supper in their homes so supper was served a part of the fun. The day was ending but not before each child was taken to the Photography Booth where his picture was taken and placed in a magnet to bring home to his family. For his other hand, he received a decorated goody bag plus a helium balloon, souvenirs of, what was for many, their first real Purim Fun Day.

 

For one mother, at least, this day marked a major change.  Paralyzed by shame, she has been unable to accept her child. Her child attended Ezer Mizion’s Afternoon Club for Special Needs Children and the mother always insisted that our driver never  stop in front of the house so people should not see her child. On this special day, the child’s volunteer, who accompanies her home on the van each day, called the mother as they were driving down her block. “This is a must see! You won’t believe this! I can’t wait to show you how cute she looks! And she has become best friends with a clown. You won’t believe it!” The mother actually got excited, came down, for the first time in public! In full view of everyone in the neighborhood! She asked the driver to stop in front (!) and she made him wait, as the neighbors looked on, while she took pictures of her little girl with the clown This was a real milestone for that mother in helping her accept her child!!

 

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.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219         819 853 8400

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bat Mitzvah That Almost Wasn’t

March 2, 2017

pr-whats-app-bas-mitzvah-cakeIf you’re like most people, your mental wastebasket is filled with great ideas that didn’t happen. You meant to get to it. You really did. But ‘life’ got in the way. Things were busy that month and it fizzled and died. Maybe someone else could have done it but offhand you didn’t know anyone to ask. And so it joined the many other ideas waiting for ‘someday’.

But this one couldn’t wait. It had to be done now. A young girl was turning twelve. A big milestone, to say the least. A celebration was certainly in order. Each family has its own way of marking this special birthday but not to mark it at all?! To allow the day to pass with not a word? Nothing? That is exactly what will be happening to Malky Cohen*. Why? Because a heavy, dark cloud hung over the Cohen home that did not allow even a ray of sunshine to penetrate. Malky’s mother was terminally ill. Cancer. Rivky*, their next door neighbor, yearned to create a semblance of festivity for Malky, perhaps a cake, but her four pre-schoolers kept her busy every moment of the day. She spoke to another neighbor who loved the idea but whose baking skills didn’t get past chocolate chip cookies.

“We need someone who has the time and is a talented baker.”

“But how do we find such a person?”

“I have a great idea. How about Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life program?”

“I thought the program is for getting emergency rides for patients or delivering medication or medical equipment from here to there?”

“They do a lot of that, it’s true. But they do so much more. Like the time they helped out a man whose car was stuck or the story of the Purim costume.”

“What happened with the Purim costume?”

“That was really amazing. A 7-year-old Hadera boy with cancer especially wanted to be a tiger for Purim. He had very specific ideas. An Ezer Mizion volunteer was determined to get him the costume but couldn’t find what he wanted anywhere. She tried Linked to Life who sent the request to Netanya. Zilch. Then Tel Aviv. Nothing. Hundreds of people were involved but what he wanted could not be found. Another request went out and a volunteer responded that she would sew it. Beep! Beep! A volunteer was needed who lived in his area and could take measurements. A response came in within seconds. Ezer Mizion couldn’t cure the cancer but, through their Linked to Life program, they managed to make a little boy very, very happy.”

“That’s some story. I hope they are as successful with Malky’s cake.”

Several days later, the Cohen family gasped in shock when Rivky rang their bell. And via the tray bearing a magnificent Bas Mitzvah cake produced by Sara A., there entered into their home, for the first time in months, a package of smiles.

Linked to Life. We’re all connected. No one is ever alone.

Ezer Mizion: Purim Spirit Breaks through the Gates of Illness and Old Age

February 27, 2013

Ezer Mizion’s parties throughout the country for the elderly, the ill, the special child. click to share their smiles and sing along.

We Know What You Mean…

February 20, 2013

We Know What You Mean...

Pure and simple. Straight from the heart. Ten year old David reached for his bag eagerly. It was only a simple cellophane bag, empty at that, but it was important to him. It was his means of giving and David had already learned the joy of bringing happiness to another. “Sure I’m looking forward to a lot of nosh this Purim but but this is different. In a way, it’s more fun than getting a bagful of goodies. I don’t know how to explain it but you know what I mean, don’t you?” David was too young to fully explain his feelings but he and thousands like him had learned an important truth: Making another person happy is deeply satisfying.
In most of the schools in cities throughout Israel, a short while before Purim, each student receives a simple cellophane bag, courtesy of Ezer Mizion. Each child carefully prepares the bag with what he feels to be the perfect combination of Purim treats, deciding, changing his mind, re-packing, and changing his mind again. You see, it has to be perfect. It will be received by a sick child who is spending Purim in the hospital. “It’s such a special feeling every year to give mishlo’ach manot to a boy who is lying in a hospital somewhere in the country and cannot be feeling too happy about Purim” says David. “Every year, when I prepare the mishlo’ach manot for Ezer Mizion, I imagine and can almost feel the boy’s happy reaction when he gets the package. I don’t know him, but I am sure he is happy, and I know it’s a big mitzvah.”
The bags are collected and delivered by Ezer Mizion to hospitals across the country. The Ezer Mizion volunteers can attest to the fact that David is right. Children who had planned on being a scary lion this Purim and now find themselves in the scary oncology ward instead. Instead of saying Grrrrrr and frightening others, medical personnel frighten them with needles and terrifying procedures. And then along comes a clown, singing familiar Purim songs and playing a guitar and in his hand is a shalach manos meant just for them. They form a circle. They dance. And when he leaves, the bag of joy remains on his shelf, each bite to be savored with the love with which it was packed.
David’s shalach manos, like the thousands like it, has a theme. It is a theme of giving. The theme of reaching out to another. Yes, David, you’re too young to explain it but we know what you mean.
For further info call 718 853 8400 or visit http://www.ezermizion.org