Recently I wrote here about needy IDF soldiers, a phenomenon that not many people are aware, exists. I told you about two soldiers, two of the 3,050 we were able to help through our IDF Holiday Campaign, for Pesach. And thanks to donations, all 3,050 will be able to put Pesach food on their tables this yom tov, relieving some of their worries, making them and their families so happy on chag.
Single mothers-in-need make up another group of people Yad Eliezer works to help, both throughout the year and also especially, in time for Pesach. They’re a more well-known demographic in general, but unless you know a needy single mother personally, or until you’ve worked in a place like Yad Eliezer, it’s hard to get an idea of the tremendous struggles they go through. So, here’s a glimpse into the stories of three real single mothers, just three of the countless women who approach us for assistance. This Pesach, we are helping 1800 women (900 almanos & 900 grushos and agunos) just like the ones you’ll read about, so instead of spending the days leading up to yom tov worried and scrambling to scrape money together for necessities, they’ll look forward to Pesach and it will feel like a real holiday.
Dana P.’s husband suffered for an extended period as a leukemia patient, until he passed away, leaving his devastated wife and five children (the oldest only 11), alone. Dana was in a very bad place emotionally, depressed after her husband’s death, and struggling financially to provide her kids with their needs. She was unemployed and unable to find work despite her efforts. Overdue bills quickly accumulated. Dana was evicted from her apartment and couldn’t afford the costs it took to move to another one. The most basic necessities in her home were overwhelming. With no family members to help her, Dana was alone in the world to try and pick up the pieces.
Mrs. K. was embarrassed to approach Yad Eliezer for help, but she felt she had no other choice. An aguna for more than eight years, her husband left the country, leaving her alone with seven children. He sends no support for them whatsoever. Mrs. K. works as many jobs as possible to provide for her family, including as a cleaner and babysitter. At one point she worked in a retirement home as an activities coordinator but lost that position due to COVID. Years ago, Mrs. K. had a good job as an educational advisor, but left that position at her husband's insistence. Now she can't return to that field because qualifications changed and her B.A. is no longer relevant-she would need a master’s degree, which she could never afford to study for. Mrs. K.’s situation has deteriorated over the years. Despite her best efforts, education and skills, she is limited to working in low paying positions. The bills for her family are overwhelming and not only include day to day expenses but also medical expenses for one of her children. She relies on chesed help for food and is at the point of breaking down due to all the stress she carries.
Chana B. made aliya with her young daughter about four years ago. Soon after their arrival in the country, she met Yisrael and they were married a year later. Despite initial appearances Yisrael turned out to be a violent man, and Chana was already pregnant with twins, trapped in their marriage, when the abuse surfaced. After giving birth, Yisrael became increasingly absent from the home and more violent when he returned. Finally, Chana worked up the courage to report him to the police. They are now divorced and he is in jail. Chana struggled to support herself and her three children throughout that whole period, working at minimum wage jobs just so she could buy bread, milk and the most basic foods for her children. But with no real income, she hasn't been able to make ends meet. Last year, when the pandemic caused schools to close, she had no childcare for her children, which prevented her from going out to look for higher paying work, or any work at all. Bills built up quickly in her home, worsening an already bad situation, and to this day she is unable to make her way out of her debt.
Pesach is just hours away and families are rushing to get ready. The tzedaka Yad Eliezer provides for single mothers like these, helps them join in that rush. They’re able to shop and get ready for yom tov just like everyone else. Just this morning, "Miri" wrote to us:
“We really celebrated when we got the Pesach help! It was Simchat Chag. My daughter and I went to the store and we bought not only all the necessities, but also a few treats for our family. Please, please thank your dear donors for us.”
So on behalf of Miri and all the other women we're helping through donor support, thank you!
Tizku L'Mitzvot and may everyone have a chag kasher v'sameach.