“Little things make a big difference.”
When Covid 19 hit our community, myself along with many others, looked for and found ways to help. I come from a family and community that taught and instilled in me the values of “hakarat hatov” and “love thy neighbor as thyself". These values helped shape the person I am and the type of person I strive to be. Beginning on March 3rd, it wasn’t a question of “should I” but, “how and what I could do to help?”
It started with a couple friends and I bringing coffee and bagels to people quarantined in neighboring communities and grew from there. I was supported, helped and at times guided by Rabbis, friends, and colleagues from different communities. All with the same purpose, to help others in need.
I received a call from a doctor who is also a member of the Young Israel of Scarsdale regarding a desperate need for iPads in hospitals. I found out the tragic truth that patients were isolated and alone, and sadly, many died alone. This was tragic as well, for loved ones who could not be there to offer any comfort or support. I reached out to friends, colleagues and synagogues describing the need for these iPads to help facilitate communication between patients and family members. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Approximately 350 iPads and iPhones were donated and distributed to six neighboring hospitals. This small act of kindness, from so many gave patients and their families the chance to see one another, offer comforting words and a chance to say goodbye.
In addition to iPad donations, multiple meals were delivered to hundreds of local hospital workers, police and fire fighters.
Throughout this time, I kept finding myself thinking of the families who suffer domestic abuse and how isolating, scary and terrible this time must be for them. I wanted to do something for the children and somehow provide a sense of normalcy, make them smile or feel happy if only for a short time. I reached out again, to the amazing people who had already helped so much to find out where and how I could make this happen. I was connected to people at Ohel, and collected over 400 new toys for the children of Ohel.
This journey of giving has done as much for me as those I helped. All of these awesome acts of chesed would never have happened without the help of others. As Margaret Mead said so beautifully, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”