As we head into February, our Winter Warmth Campaign is still going strong, an especially good thing due to the cold (and snowy!) wintry weather taking place in Israel, now. Recently I wrote about the reactions that many of the gabbaim have had during this year’s distributions; they’ve taken notice of our coats’ high level of quality and are so thankful, knowing these coats will make a big impact on the families we help.
Which brings me to…the families we help. A good, new coat is not “just a coat” for struggling parents and their children. Sure, it’s an item that brings badly-needed warmth. But it also brings relief, allaying the anxiety of mothers and fathers who can’t afford to buy their children new ones. And it provides invaluable dignity to the son or daughter who no longer has to embarrassedly wear something that is the wrong size, worn out, or completely outdated.
Numerous thank you notes reach our office each winter, from grateful families who want to express their appreciation for the coats they receive. Often, stories appear within the letters, glimpses into the families’ lives, which show us time and again how important the Winter Warmth campaign is. We’re in the midst of distributing over 15,000 coats this year so you can imagine how many lives are being affected, how many stories are out there.
Here are just a few.
Saving a son from embarrassment
To the special malachim donors of American Friends of Yad Eliezer - you are a true Jewish fund that is there for us!
I was davening to Hashem at the start of the winter, “Please, please help my children-they’re cold when they go outside…and I have no way to buy them coats this year...”
My son Yossi was embarrassed to go to school - his coat was torn in so many places. I couldn’t look him in the eyes. I couldn’t tell him, “I just don’t have a way to buy a new one …” I didn’t know what to do.
Soon after my tefilla, a phone call came.
It was the gabbai of our community, letting me know that new coats had arrived and we were invited to come and take one home if we needed.
I didn’t really know what to expect. What kind of coats would be given out for free, at this kind of distribution? But we arrived and were so surprised - it was set up just like a store! The coats were thick, warm and good quality! And they were organized according to size, each person was able to try them on, see which was best and walk out with a new coat and with such happiness.
Yossi and my daughter Ettel, too, walked out b’simcha, and with tremendous warmth.
Thank you again and again! The coats you provided us with, changed everything! May you be zoche, through Hashem’s help, to have simcha in your lives and may you benefit from your maasim tovim!
No more "stretching" old coats year after year
I wanted to thank you from the depths of our hearts (which are incredibly moved!) for the wonderful, practical, warm gifts you’ve given our children: beautiful coats that are providing them with true protection from the frigid cold and rainy Jerusalem weather. We were all so very, very excited and happy!
The coats we have in our home are well-used. They’re older, acquired when my now 7.5 year old was just 3.5, and my six year old was just 2. I got them in bigger sizes originally so they could “stretch” for as long as possible, but by now, as you can imagine, the sleeves are quite short and they are not in the best condition.
I thought that maybe I would just have to manage to “stretch” them again, until the end of the winter. Coats are very expensive for us. My kids were really unhappy, though, the coats were uncomfortable, one of the zippers was broken…I thought, “I’ll just have to repair it - again.”
And then, an incredible surprise came our way! We learned of the coat distribution in our kehilla. You can’t imagine our happiness - it was immeasurable. Not only could we receive new coats, but they were of such high quality and so warm, waterproof to keep the rain off - and of course, they open and close beautifully.
It simply warms my heart to see the children going off to school in the morning and returning in the afternoon, well protected against the cold and the rain.
I appreciate that these beautiful gifts are the result of tremendous efforts on your part and the generosity of your donors.
Yasher Koach - ישלם ה’ שכרכם!
Helping a teenager look and feel her best
To the wonderful Anshei HaChesed!
I wanted to share a story of hashgacha with you.
My daughter, who is fourteen years old, really wanted a new coat. The one she owned was something she had “inherited'' from a friend a while back and she mentioned from time to time that it was outdated; nobody her age wore that color or style, and wearing it made her feel very, very uncomfortable. We haven’t been able to buy a new one for her even though the winter is at its height.
My daughter called me from her seminar one morning and told me they were ending school early that day. She begged my wife to take her shopping for a new coat. She agreed, and they began their search for a nice coat but one that we could afford. It wasn’t easy at all. They looked in one store and then another. On their way to the third, they were interrupted by a phone call from my mother in law, who needed help urgently. My wife explained the situation to my daughter, who is a good girl. She was eager to stop the search at once and wait while my wife provided the necessary aid. It was taking quite a while and during that time she received a phone call: there was a coat distribution going on in our neighborhood, and my family was invited to take part in it! They were able to finish their chesed at my mother in law’s home with enough time and quickly made their way to the event. Once there, they were simply amazed: my daughter received a coat that was just the right style, in the color she “had been dreaming of”!
We were astonished at this hashgacha - it was as though we received a little message from Above that my daughter’s mitzva was appreciated in Shamayim. Obviously we don’t try to do cheshbonos that way, but this really made an impression on us.
I can only say that I must thank your donors, who give with all their hearts. Hashem brought us this help - the exact type we needed, in the way we needed and at the exact time we needed it. Your donors should be zoche for all the best, and for the ability to continue bringing simcha to Hashem and to others. Ashreichem!
Donate to Israel's neediest families through our Winter Warmth Campaign, and help us continue to make an impact on their lives - and their stories - this year.