Holding on to Hope
For one woman, it’s all she has
0 Comments | Sunday, February 20, 2022
, Matanot L'Evyonim
, Food Support
, Electricity Support
I opened the email and my heart sank.
“Hello, this is Naomi again. I’m sorry to contact you again but I’m very overwhelmed. I cry a lot, I don’t know how to continue like this in life. As you know, I'm trying to support my husband and my children. Would you be able to help me with food? Or electricity? I need to pay my bill and I can’t. I can’t even think about Purim or Pesach… I really hope you may be able to help, I am just completely overwhelmed.”
Naomi and I had corresponded in the past. From previous conversations, I knew that she was juggling so many hardships on a daily basis, alone, even though she wasn’t alone. Two of Naomi's four young children have Crouzon syndrome and so far, have undergone 14 (!) surgeries, sleeping at night connected to machines to help them breathe. Their medical appointments, which are frequent and expensive, take place in Haifa, but she and her family live near Rehovot. They don’t own a car (the cost is out of reach) so each time they have to see their specialist they travel an average of 2.5 hours (each way) by public transportation to get there.
Naomi’s husband has Crouzon syndrome, too. He also suffers from severe depression and is heavily medicated although, Naomi shares, it doesn’t seem to be helping and there are some pretty bad side effects. This prevents him from holding down a job so it’s up to Naomi to keep them all afloat…somehow. It’s a near-impossible task to complete when she can’t leave them to go out to work. She tries her best to stretch the few thousand shekels’ worth of government aid she receives each month to provide for her family.
Her "basics" are luxuries
Despite her ongoing, best efforts, needs in Naomi’s household grow, while her ability to meet them doesn’t. Even seemingly simple things like after school activities for her two children in treatment (to improve their self-esteem damaged by peers’ teasing), new glasses with a stronger prescription for her son, beds to support the children’s mattresses (so they can sleep above the floor), a refrigerator filled with fresh foods, or a paid-in-full electric bill are luxuries that just aren’t available.
“I am really trying as hard as I possibly can and I really hate it that I have to ask for help”, Naomi says. “I spend money so carefully because I know exactly how much aid we get each month from Bituach Leumi. I don’t purchase anything other than what we really need-yet I just can’t do it all. We are barely hanging on. When we have food in the house it’s only because of the help we get from tzedaka. I feel like my life is already being so challenged in many areas-especially emotional and health related, the fact that the financial aspect is so hard makes it impossible for me to continue holding on without some big miracle…something I hope and pray for every day. Hope and tefilla are everything”.
Generous tzedaka help
I’m happy to write that American Friends of Yad Eliezer was able to help Naomi when she first contacted us months ago. One of our generous donors learned of her situation and eagerly provided the beds for her kids. And the glasses her son desperately needed! Later, someone else helped her family with food vouchers that went a long way. She was overjoyed and couldn’t hold back her tears of relief and exclamations of gratitude. So when some time passed and I hadn’t heard from her in a while, I hoped Naomi's situation had, somehow, improved.
With the arrival of her email today, I realized, sadly, that I guess it hadn’t.
But there is still hope.
Like so many struggling families, Naomi’s problems are numerous and we can’t solve them all. But American Friends of Yad Eliezer will do what is possible, to help ease her situation. And we truly hope that her suffering and that of all families in need, comes to an end as soon as possible.