Mesamche Lev Power Auction to help fund 42,000 pairs of shoes, meat, widow checks and more

ml[COMMUNICATED] By: Frimet Blum. December’s rain and hail brought much-needed water to Eretz Yisroel – but for Esra Abramovitz, the weather was disastrous. The nine year old’s shoes were already worn out the morning the rain began. By the time he got home from cheder, his feet were soaked through and through – and his shoes were irreparably damaged.

“There were cracks in the soles,” his mother said. “The water went right in. The shoes just fell apart.” For a family that lives hand-to-mouth, the loss of Esra’s shoes was a calamity. Esra’s father has been out of a job for months. His mother earns barely enough to put bread on the table for her eight children. There was simply no way to buy a new pair of shoes – and no way Esra could get by without. Esra’s mother called Mesamche Lev in desperation.

“I know the shoe distribution is before Pesach,” she said, “but this is an emergency. Do you have anything he could wear until then?” Although there are almost no shoes left from last year’s massive distribution, where some 42,000 children got new shoes, the secretary checked the sample pairs on display in the office. In an amazing stroke of siyata dishmaya, out of just twenty pairs for boys and girls, in sizes ranging from toddler to teen, there was one pair of boys’ shoes that fit Esra perfectly. He tried them on, and secured the Velcro with a flourish. Then he bounced on his toes, ecstatic.

“This is mamash metzuyan, amazing,” he beamed. “I’ll be able to run the fastest at recess.” His mother thanked Mesamche Lev with tears in her eyes.

”I was thinking, ‘what am I going to do? Where am I going to find money for new shoes now?’” she said. “You think this is a pair of shoes? This is a yeshuah gedolah for me.”

Mesamche Lev’s annual shoe distribution is a big yeshuah for the families of 42,000 children in Eretz Yisroel. The distribution has become a part of the pre-Pesach landscape in Yerushalayim. Children from across the country converge upon the distribution site, and walk out with new shoes and huge smiles. The shoes, as well as the rest of the distribution, which gives families meat, poultry, groceries, wine, matzahs, and dairy products; and sends generous checks to widows in Eretz Yisroel and the US, are funded by generous donors to Mesamche Lev. A large portion of the funds is generated by the Power Auction.

“The Power Auction plays a major role in our work,” says Rabbi Tzvi Friedman of Mesamche Lev. “We spend a huge amount of money each year. Just the programs for widows, and the orphan weddings, cost a fortune. Then there’s the shoes, the meat, the groceries – we depend on the community’s support.”

The community’s response to the Power Auction has been unprecedented. Thousands of people have already entered the auction, and the auction phone line is deluged with calls. Donors are excited about the fantastic prizes, free gifts, and the Power Wheel, which gives them a chance to spin and win for just ten dollars. But the overriding sentiment amongst donors is that the auction is supporting widows, orphans, and the poor.

“I grew up on this tzedakah,” says Yossi G. of Boro Park. “It means a lot to me that my auction entry is making me a partner in giving kids shoes and food and everything else.”

The Power Auction will run until January 31, 2017. To enter the auction, see the Power Auction booklet, call the Mesamche Lev auction line at 877.686.1313, or enter online at mesamchelev.org.

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