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The People We Help

Shira's Story


Shira walked down the grocery aisle, agonizing over the items she was placed in her cart.  She wasn’t sure how much longer the store would extend her credit.  Her husband had warned her to be extremely careful.  But what should she leave behind? The baby food jars or the bread for her children’s lunches? The milk for her son’s bottle or the noodles for supper? There was only so much she could pare down her purchases.  They needed to eat!

Shira glanced over at the lady walking by and flinched.  It was her landlord, Chana. Her landlord who she hadn’t paid in months. Her landlord whose friendly smile of old was becoming stiffer and tighter with each passing day. Chana glanced at Shira’s cart and kept walking, not even deigning to look in Shira’s eyes. Cheeks aflame, Shira tried to keep the tears at bay.

What should she do?  Did money grow on trees? Her husband was out looking for work every day. She was doing what she could, babysitting for others, trying to get odd-jobs here and there, but it just didn’t add up.  Should they move out? Find a smaller apartment? They were already cramped with two bedrooms and 4 kids.  How much more could they do without?

And the food. The food. No matter where they lived, they needed to eat. Shira closed her eyes and prayed.  This had become her ritual before she stepped in line to pay. “Please, Hashem,” she whispered. “Don’t let today be the day they send me away. Not today. Please don’t shame me today. Don’t embarrass me today. I’m trying to do your will, to accept my fortune, my lot in life.  But please, not today. Not. Today.”

Shira stepped in line, her prayers still on her lips. She didn’t dare look at the cashier as she rang up her purchases. When the cashier asked for payment, she gave her account number and held her breath. The cashier punched in the code and…began to bag her groceries. Shira could breathe again! She glanced at the screen and saw her credit balance, her debt. Only $400? That didn’t make sense. She was sure she owed them over a thousand dollars. How could it be? Did the cashier enter the wrong code?  No. It was right. Did someone pay their bill? Did Hashem intervene and change the numbers?

Shira didn’t know. And right now, she didn’t care how it had happened, she was so thankful that it did.  The smile she gave the cashier as she left the store could have lit up a ballroom.  She felt like dancing!  Amidst it all, Someone up above was taking care of her, looking out for her, and making sure she’d be okay. And whoever He chose to be His messenger, whoever was His angel, she would forever be grateful.  For a few precious moments, the storm inside her life and her home abated, and the sun dared to peek out, shining hope and light, filling Shira with peace.  Such a small thing, to walk out of a grocery store.  Such a big thing, to do so with dignity.

Featured In The Media

An informative interview with
Eizer Lamuzen’s founder and leader,
recently featured in Hamodia’s
Inyan Magazine.



Check out ‘Food Aid Coming to Your Community’, an in depth article featured in the community pages of the Hamodia.



From The People...

  • I used to be just like everyone else shopping in the store, following my list and filling up my cart. Until my husband lost his job. The first few months were manageable, but then the bills began to pile up and my local grocery let me know that I’d reached the credit limit. I was devastated. How would I feed my family? We’d been reduced from respected customers to beggars. It was humiliating. When Eizer Lamuzen began to slowly and mysteriously chip away at our debt, we received the greatest gift. I was able to return to the store, purchase what I needed, and once again feel just like everyone else.

    Sarah M. Boro Park

  • As an Eizer Lamuzen member, I love knowing that I’m helping people who live in my community, local people who need assistance. My small weekly donation, in the long run, doesn’t impact my pocketbook, and it is such a convenient, easy way to give. I’m a proud Account 120 contributor!

    Chaya G. Montreal

  • I always prided myself on being able to support my family. I had a good job, solid profession, and respectable income. But my wife became ill and there were so many new expenses, from doctor visits and medicines to child care and housekeeping services. I was drowning. Food seemed to have become a luxury. Eizer Lamuzen’s assistance came in the nick of time, saving me from going under, and helped me nourish my family during this difficult time. We are forever grateful to Eizer Lamuzen’s and its kind-hearted supporters!

    Eliezer J. Williamsburg

  • Many times when I write out a Tzedaka check, I wonder where the money goes. I understand that there are always operational expenses in any non-profit organization, but I appreciate that the majority of my weekly Eizer Lamazun contribution is given directly to the people in need. I am confident that Eizer Lamazun has spent the time determining who really needs the money and that my tzedakah is well spent. I’m glad to be a part of this wonderful organization.

    Chaim B. Boro Park