web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


A Mitzvah Package

Fuchs-062113-packing

Sometimes a mitzvah is just a part of life. We do it by rote and don’t give it a second thought. Sometimes a mitzvah is so hard to perform we have to make a conscious effort to do it right – or even perform it at all. Recently, one particular mitzvah has actually become an obsession for me; it has taken over much of my thoughts, most of my time and a significant portion of our home office.

About eight years ago, when I spent a summer in Israel with my children, we volunteered with an organization called A Package from Home. Started in 2000 during the outbreak of the second intifada by Barbara and Marvin Silverman, APFH has morphed from a project in Barbara’s living room into an organization that makes thousands of packages a year, filling the emotional and physical needs of many lone soldiers.

Every year after that, I returned to volunteer and pack packages. Once home, I began collecting some of the items the soldiers need in their packages. For eight years I took these items along with me to Israel. Then this past November when 70,000 reserve soldiers were called up to the border of Gaza, things changed. For one, the son of good friends of ours from the Five Towns was serving in the IDF. He was a lone soldiers and he was called up. My own son, the same age was working hard beginning his last year in college. He and my 18 year old high school senior were coming home safely every night.

It was unbearable for me to sit idly by as young men, no different than my sons, awaited their orders on the border of Gaza. Every time I looked into my sons’ eyes it was all I could think of. I felt despair and helplessness. Shira Gilor, my contact and project manager for APFH told me that they would be preparing to make thousands of packages. They would surely be short on some items and definitely short on money. In that instant I knew this was my opportunity to become useful. I contacted friends who were dentists, dermatologists and optometrists to see if they had any samples they could donate. Within days the donations were pouring in. People went to the local pharmacy and picked up whatever they could – sample size toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, eye drop, lip balm and lotions were left on my doorstep. People brought cases of candy. With the help of some very dedicated friends, we began a campaign in our local shuls, and at shiurim and tehillim groups. Even a shul in Brooklyn signed on.

Shira Gilor, project manager for A Package From Home, a lone solider named Chosem, Helen Fuchs, Elliot Fuchs.

Shira Gilor, project manager for A Package From Home, a lone solider named Chosem, Helen Fuchs, Elliot Fuchs.

How to get the items there was the next undertaking. Again, I appealed to friends – this time ones making trips to Israel. We offered to pay for an extra bag. I learned that most people are only too happy to do a mitzvah, if only given the opportunity. I was heartened by how few people actually took the money. Instead, they offered to pay for the extra bag as their way of contributing to the mitzvah (as if taking the bag was not enough). Friends, teachers from HAFTR, former-seminary girls going back to visit, parents traveling to visit children in yeshivot, college kids visiting friends all came out of the woodwork and took bags. That was last November.

Fortunately, Israel avoided war and most of those soldiers were sent home. However, it occurred to me there was no reason to stop collecting. There are many wonderful soldiers who have no family support. Whether they are in imminent dangerous situations or not, they still get cold, their socks get wet, they run out of toothpaste and their skin gets dry. Why not help APFH with the packages they make all year round? Along with many wonderful people in the Five Towns, to date we have sent over 20 duffel bags of items to APFH, which they have turned into hundreds if not thousands of packages.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Mitzvah Package”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Sections Stories
Lewis-041715-Jewish-Soldiers

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

Jerusalem Heights Penthouse

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

After the last of Austria’s Jews were murdered, Albert confiscated whatever Jewish property remained.

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

More Articles from Helen Fuchs
Fuchs-062113-packing

Sometimes a mitzvah is just a part of life. We do it by rote and don’t give it a second thought. Sometimes a mitzvah is so hard to perform we have to make a conscious effort to do it right – or even perform it at all. Recently, one particular mitzvah has actually become an obsession for me; it has taken over much of my thoughts, most of my time and a significant portion of our home office.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/a-mitzvah-package/2013/06/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: