Pennsylvania Man Who Lost His Young Daughter, Makes It His Mission To Cheer Up Chai Lifeline Children

chris fields with sruli friedEXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW & PHOTOS: Meet Chris Fields. Chris is a young man from the Poconos, Pennsylvania, who lost his 15 month old daughter to a serious illness in August of 2004. Since then, Chris has made it his mission to help the children of Chai Lifeline by bringing them
 toys and games each Chanukah.

It started back in May of 2004 in a hallway at the CHOP Hospital in Philadelphia, where the crying Jody – the mother of young Ella Fields A’H – bumped into the director of Chai Lifeline of Lakewood, Rabbi Sruli Fried.

Mrs. Fields explained how her young baby, a twin, was seriously ill, and asked Rabbi Fried if he would recite a prayer for her.

A few months later however, Ella A’H succumbed to her illness and passed away.

Chris tells TLS how Rabbi Fried arranged a funeral and burial for the young girl at a Jewish cemetery in Florida, at no cost to the family.

However, the relationship between the Field’s family and Chai Lifeline didn’t end there.

Ella’s twin sister began attending Camp Simcha and the bond between the Fields’ and Chai Lifeline grew even stronger from there.

Chris knew he just had to give back, and that’s when he came up with the idea of a toy drive in memory of Ella.

Chris began receiving toy donations from local retailers and wholesalers, in order to cheer up other sick children who may not have long to enjoy them.

The first year, Chris put together two boxes of toys and drove down to Lakewood to deliver them to Chai Lifeline.

Last year, it was ten boxes.

This evening, Chris pulled up to Chai Lifeline’s Lakewood Headquarters with his pick-up truck loaded with thirty large boxes stuffed with toys, dolls, stuffed animals, games and more, all sealed with a picture of his loving Ella A’H to be distributed to ill children over Chanukah.

“My wife wishes we could just win $200 Billion dollars in a Powerball so we can just open a business and do nothing but do toys for you guys”, says Chris. “One of these days we’re going to win it and your’e going to have more toys than you can imagine”, he says.

But it isn’t just a one time thing for Chris, he wants to make it his life’s goal and passion.

“My goal is to buy my own tractor trailer, custom built, and use it strictly for the Chanukah toy drive for Chai Lifeline”, Chris says. “The Chai Lifeline organization has been so wonderful”. “The abilities that they have to make children’s lives so much better, and they’re families too”. “Because it’s a rough time – everybody knows that”. “It’s just wonderful”. “Can’t say enough about it”, Chris says.

At Chai Lifeline, they are all in awe of the Fields family.

“Its truly incredible how the Field family has taken the most difficult challenge any parent can face, of losing a child, and turn it into an inspiration of helping others in similar situations”, says Rabbi Sruli Fried, the Director of Chai Lifeline of Lakewood. “It’s truly amazing”.

May this toy drive be a Z’chus and Aliya for Ella A’H.

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  1. There is someone in our community who has a SCHI teenaged son.
    He makes it a point to go to the kiddush or bris of a special needs child and brings his son along and tells the parents (who are sometimes distraught) what joy and nachas this child will bring them.

  2. Some people are doers! My family too has had Chai Lifeline be there for them at the most difficult times… there are no words that can thank enough… what a wonderful way of giving back… Chris, you are so inspiring!

  3. Chris, thank you for the inspiration I experienced while reading this post. I too experienced tragedy in my family albeit not losing a child, Thank G-D. It is always inspiring too see that some individuals can take a tragedy and look for something positive that they can take away from it. May you never know of any more pain and this should be a zchus for your dear Ella A’H

  4. Hey Chris; you say in your video interview that your just “the shipper/receiver/delivery man”. Oh no your not! You have a big heart, a wonderful heart. Hope you win that Powerball and get to perpetuate the memory of your daughter in every way you can think of. That is your connection with your daughter now. You are still with your daughter, only in a different way. May G-D bless you and your daughter’s soul.

  5. With the recent loss of our dear friend Shelly we were feeling the void especially in the capacity that Shelly would bring happiness and joy to the children of Lakewood. Only Sruly can come up with a constructive and befitting way to fill the void that Shelly has left the Lakewood community. Comes along Chris with his toys to help put smiles on the Children of Chai Lifelines faces what a beautiful way to remember Ella and Shelly. Maybe if there is any leftover toys Sruly can make a raffle A Dollar A Chance for Chai Lifeline.

  6. Chai Life is truly a very special place I worked there 3 summers in 2001 and 2002 also 2003 they were very special place.. I was even the at the Camp when they had a fire they had a plan for good day but since the fire happen early morning they adjusted it so children can get to bed earlier… But that didn’t stop us we had a long day events and yet I wish I could do more for them too.. Chai Life Line is building Bais Hamedkah in one way.. They truly show love and care. It truly bring happiness through the children mind and they try to clear their mind about their pains and yet they even know they are dying, or Hair Fell out.. Etc.. ChaiLifeLine we rock and wave our Flag and we stand up for these pains and they are the best service that I will always love to support them.. In anyways.. ChaiLifeLine is place where every Jews should realized we treat everyone in a Positive matter and treat our hearts and for the children and Teens also Adults who are suffering…. We hold our hands and remember we have to Trust Hashem no matter what happening we pray to him… We should have Sake of Brochos and ending these painful moments
    May Hashem Speedly Rebuilt his Temple again

  7. To Reb Chris and Jody.
    I am truly sorry for ur lost of Elida tz”l may Hashem Bless u for wonderful brocha that u have more children and chessed u are truly doing for her neshmula is wonderful u making great Kiddush Hashem for her in Heaven.. I sure Hashem will give u in return for ur love ans care about the others childrens and Parents who are going through the same time as u did.. U really are giving back the service a tremously amount of credits.Thank-you for being a Great Family of Chai LifeLine Supporter.. You have Nachos and Brochos and Yet this is great example of HASHEM APPRECATION .. You got chance to give a “Kaporah”. I truly want to say Thank-you for all good thing u are doing…

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