Eli and Sara are loving parents to 5 children, ages 8 to 2. They are struggling to make ends meet, but Eli’s work at a construction site has allowed for him to provide for their family’s necessities. The family lives in a 2-bedroom apartment in Jerusalem, the parents in one room, the 5 children in the next room, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Life was manageable, even good, until that auspicious day.
One Tuesday afternoon, as Sara was juggling her five children at home with homework, baths, dinner, and bedtime, she got the call that Eli was rushed to the hospital. Eli had a work accident and was cut deeply on his dominant arm with a chainsaw.
The next year was spent in and out of surgeries, hospital visits, and therapies. The family needed to resort to borrowing money from whoever could help them alleviate their financial desperation. Unfortunately, Eli lost complete sensitivity in his arm and is in the process of a difficult recovery. The family’s routine became completely haphazard.
Eli and Sara have high school educations. Eli’s only training is in the construction industry. Sara, has no professional training. They are both left struggling to find a way to bring income back to their family. Now, in addition to their previous debts and meager lifestyle, they have massive medical bills to account for. Their financial situation has become intolerable, and their emotional situation has followed suit.
The 5 children have watched their family slowly falling apart. They have witnessed their capable and loving father, become full of despair and pain. They have watched their mother reach her limits, physically and emotionally. They have noticed their fridge empty too many times over the past year, and they have seen the cold hospital walls more times than any children at their age should see.
At the recommendation of a friend, Sara turned to Yad Ezra V’Shulamit. She was able to arrange that her older children take part in the Bait Cham program, providing for them a hot meal and homework help after school. She was able to receive food packages, ensuring that she could provide nutritious meals for her family, and ensure that they do not go to school hungry in the mornings.
Sara and Eli, together, receive help from the Job Desk at Yad Ezra V’Shulamit, where they are counseled by a professional job placement counselor who is working to help them find appropriate employment to get their family back on their feet.
They know they have a long road ahead of them. Living life with a handicapped family member, especially for a young family, is arduous and challenging. But Eli and Sara also know, with Yad Ezra V’Shulamit’s help, this journey is no longer insurmountable.