Readers’ Scoop: A New Chesed Organization

snowblowing_lwkd_tlsOur town has a myriad of chesed organizations helping our community in so many different ways such as Chaverim, Tomchei Shabbos, Misaskim, Hatzolo & many many others. I believe there is an area of chesed not being addressed & hope someone will take the initiative (for various reasons I cannot).

Although in most cases we are a young community with families, there are many households in the community made up of single mothers or elderly or sick people. Some chores that people generally take for granted can be a real problem for them. The immediate problem that comes to mind is snow shoveling. Other examples that come to mind are rides to the store, or picking up something for them or even changing a light bulb. Many times these people hate to bother someone to ask them for a favor, but calling an organization they might do faster. Someone will call chaverim for a car problem faster than they would ask a neighbor for help & though the matter may be trivial like giving a boost to a car or locking the keys in the car, to the recipient it is a tremendous thing.

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  1. While doing chesed is a great thing and I’m involved in a couple why does the act of just helping you neighbor have to be put into an organazation which needs to fundraise and all?
    When I had an elderly neighbor she would call and we would run over and now she moved to a home and we constantly visit and bring her food.
    To the writer if you need help don’t hessitate to ask they will become closer to you by giving that’s the way hashem set up this world!

  2. To “I do chessed” the writer was not saying he was needy as you imply at the end of your comment as well he explained why have an organization people are more comfortable calling lastly for the type of help we’re discussing there should be no expense beyond perhaps communication equipment there are already monetary org etc this would be addressing muscle and personnel so to speak

  3. #1 is right, it’s very costly to open and maintain a Chesed (non for profit) organization. Radios alone are 4-5 hundred apiece.
    When I was a child my mother sent us out to shovel the snow of all the elderly people on the block. Don’t be embarrassed to ask a neighbor to help, Kol Yisroel Areivim Zeh L’Zeh.

  4. I agree with this post wholeheartedly and believe there is a big vacuum for something like this in more ways than one and I would like to get something like this off the ground. If you’d like to help and get involved please email: [email protected] Thanks!

  5. There are thousands homes in lakewood that remain unshoveled, I doubt that all of these homes are occupied by elderly and single mothers. Let’s teach people to stop being so selfish and get out there and start shoveling their own properties then Mitzva gorrers mitzva I’m sure that while they are at it they will help out there incapable neighbor.

  6. In fact there is such an organization in some secular senior communities- I think it’s called “helping hands”. This is in fact an excellent idea! For those who are skeptical about making organizations out of everything, you have some great points. Often when there are organizations, the private individual is not so in tune to other’s needs and may feel obsolved of doing the chesed. But on the flip side, many needy people may not have good support systems or do not feel comfortable asking a friend or neighbor. An organization provides dignity for the recipient: When a service is rendered, the recipient feels confident that the giver was not coerced – they will not feel compelled to hesitate to make requests for these types of needs for the fear of “overusing” a friend or neighbor (a strong focus of several needy friends of mine). May Hash-m bentch whoever follows up on this idea with much brocha and hatzlocha in their personal lives as well as their klal work.

  7. There should also be a chessed orgenzation called “i do chesed at home” how many pepole would run to do chesed for the whole world, but for their husbend or wife not!

  8. Biggest chesed would be if everyone shoveled their own walkways. This shabbos was a disaster trying to go to shul. What a chutzpa a nerve people who don’t clear their walkways. I wonder if the rabbonim would allow us to call the police on someone that doesnt shovel. This past week was parshas mishpatim. How appropriate.

  9. Mi k’amcha Yisrael! Thank you for such a good idea, but I think I’m missing something. In this day and age when everybody has (at least one) cell phones, why would we need costly radios for such an organization? This organization can be a wonderful idea and doesn’t need to cost big money. Use your own shovel or even make a one time investment in a snowblower. And yes, if you are baruch Hashem able to, please, please shovel your area!

  10. It’s not only about shoveling. Errands, rides, grocery shopping, minor repairs (lightbulbs, jammed doorknobs, etc….) or even being present for a repairman. Take 30-60 seconds to think of those things that you take for granted. That’s what the originator of chaveirim did, and look at the tremendous zchusim which have accumulated.

  11. In my community, we have two organizations that handle such issues. The first is the police – they ticket houses that haven’t shoveled their sidewalks within 12 hours after the end of a storm. This has motivated people to do the chessed of taking care of their own sidewalks so that others can pass in safety.

    The second is a group called “yeshiva bochurs”. These young gentlemen go around shoveling the walks of those in need. They have multiple motivations. The first is the suggestion (or, perhaps, insistence) of parents to assist neighbors. It works magic when parents motivate their children. Additionally, during the first storm this year, one of the local rabbonim who runs youth services at one of the shuls in town, called several of these boys to ask them to assist those who could not shovel easily. There was a troop of young gentlemen around town helping those who needed it simply at the request of someone that they respected. Finally, there’s the impact of paying these young men. They’re very happy to shovel if asked and presented with payment.

    In point of fact, some of these motivations can be combined. Some beneficiaries of the chessed will pay the boys of their own volition, even though the boys don’t ask for a penny. Some families will make arrangements to have their walk shoveled while out of town to avoid being ticketed.

    I’ve seen all of this with my own eyes. My son and his friends are quite involved in this activity. He willingly shoveled snow for the elderly when asked by the Rabbi mentioned above. He did our neighbor’s walk without question at my prompting (and my neighbor thanked him later in the day with a handshake and $20 – my son is now quite motivated to continue this particular chessed). He spent hours digging out for those who requested he do so before they left on vacation – as well as for those who posted the requests on the community bulletin board while they were out of town. As yet, he’s only been paid for some of the jobs, but he’s fine getting paid in dollars or mitzvahs.

    Oh, and I’m not just a proud dad. He worked with numerous boys to get this done. Indeed, the activity is not random, it’s coordinated – mostly by the boys themselves.

    It’s amazing when communities work in concert, with communication as the key factor. No formal organization is necessary, just common courtesy.

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