Welcome to our weekly success story. We have received a surprising amount of positive feedback about this column. You, our donors and potential donors, are eager to hear what we are up to. Though all of our donors give without strings attached and do not ask where the money is going to, it is nice to be able to “give back” to our donors in order to show them how their donations are being spent. With that, let’s take a look at this week’s success story!

Several months ago, a mother and father walked into our Jerusalem building and asked for a meeting. Generally speaking, our staff are very busy with day to day tasks. With all of the projects we have going on, whether it’s the Children’s Center or simply packaging food baskets, we barely have time for meetings. In fact, most of us aren’t even around the building for a large portion of the day. We are out in the “field” working with the hundreds of families under our care. However, it was this family’s luck that we were in the building.

The mother is handicapped and uses a walker to move around. The father, who does not have a proper academic education, does not work at a regular 9-5 job. He does his best by learning in a study program. This program pays a (very) minimum wage to the father. This family essentially lives off of this wage, which isn’t even considered the minimum wage in Israel.

Unfortunately, one of their children passed away from an illness a while back, leaving the family in severe debt. The two daughters that remained were in one of the worst situations we had come across. When they arrived at our Children’s Center, they were quite literally starving. Since the death of their sibling, they had rarely seen a proper meal. When they saw the hot lunch we provided, their eyes immediately opened wide and they attacked the food. They stuffed themselves so quickly as they were beyond hungry and were afraid of not having any more food later. When the weekend came around, we quickly realized that the family had no food for Shabbat. No bread, no wine, no chicken – nothing. It was an absolutely devastating situation.

After a few months of “rehabilitation” at our Center, the girls no longer attack the food. They have completely calmed down. They trust that they will have enough to eat and won’t go hungry again. Moreover, we provide the entire family with daily food baskets and also Shabbat food packages, which includes the aforementioned bread, chicken and wine (and side dishes as well). Not only do the girls now have a sparkle in their eyes, but it has completely changed the family’s emotional state at home.

With every week that passes, Yad Ezra V’Shulamit has been slowly but surely fighting off poverty, despair and total devastation in which hundreds of families are going through (just like the family mentioned above). However, it is not an easy feat. Naturally, a charity organization in today’s day and age struggles to collect a nice amount of donations because the donations are spread around. Even if you are ‘on the fence’ about donating to a Jewish charity like ours, please consider donating to at least one organization that fights poverty, even if it’s not Yad Ezra V’Shulamit.