What I saw in that house may haunt me forever
What I saw in that house may haunt me foreverMasbia LeKol Chai

It was the peak of the first coronavirus wave in Israel and I had been laid off from work. I was home feeling depressed when it occurred to me: Maybe if I went out to help others who were having a harder time than myself, it would allow me to gain the perspective I so badly needed.

I got in my car and drove to the office of Masbia LeKol Chai. I had heard of Masbia from a friend who had volunteered with them in the past. When I got to the parking lot, I was met by a site that moved me to tears: Volunteers of every age and religious background, packing boxes with essential groceries.

I signed in and got started with the work. One by one, we loaded groceries onto the truck and by mid-afternoon, were on our way to Jerusalem to delivering the packages.

As we pulled into a parking lot in the Geulah neighborhood, children gathered around to observe. What I saw in that tiny apartment may haunt me forever.

Little brown-haired children with dirty clothes, knotted hair, and no shoes greeted me with suspicious eyes. We made our way to the kitchen to drop off the groceries. “Where is your mother?,” I asked a boy who looked about 12.

“She is sleeping,” said the boy, his eyes hard & resilient. “Our father passed of the coronavirus. Do you need to talk to her? We try to leave her be.”

My eyes welled up with tears as I took a quick glance around the house. It had clearly been a well-kept home just a short time ago. Now it was scattered with trash, baby bottles, and toys. I made my way to the kitchen counter to drop off the box. Just then, one of the children opened up the fridge - It was devastatingly empty.

In that moment I knew how crucial it was to not make these children feel pitied. And so I patted the young boy, used all of my strength to muster a polite smile, and headed for the door.

When I got back to the truck, I was visibly shaken. The driver took notice of the change that had taken place.

“It’s painful to see how some people are living, I know,” he began. “Gotten much worse since COVID-19. Less volunteers. Less supplies. And more hungry families than I’ve ever seen.”

At that point I realized I'd been granted my wish. Suddenly my modest savings and comfortable, functional home seemed like a rare luxury. My health; the health which allowed me to stand on my own two feet, packing and lifting boxes, was a priceless treasure.

The past few months volunteering for Masbia have changed my life. The organization, however, finds itself in a difficult situation: Unemployment is way up, many individuals are stuck home in quarantine, and it's not equipped to handle the number of families applying for grocery packages.

If you’re like me and have struggled during this difficult time, but want to use the resources at your disposal to help those struggling a lot more, please help Masbia raise funds for their most recent campaign. Donations will allow struggling families put food on the table over the coming week.

It just may change a life - and if you’re like me, that life may be yours.

Thank you.


A New Perspective