Over the past year and a half, we all retreated inwards. New connections were rare.
But during this time, we met David, a man in his early 60’s experiencing significant cognitive decline, living alone and unable to take care of his basic needs. His caregiver, Sarah, contacted us, as she too is getting older and struggling to take care of David but is deeply committed to his wellbeing.
Sarah is not David’s relative, but is acutely aware that he has no one else in the world to look after him. Her sense of compassion is not an isolated act of kindness — dozens of individuals reached out to MARVA during this period out of concern for neighbors, acquaintances and strangers who needed help. We are inspired by their dedication and initiative.
Recently, we met via Zoom with social workers and other professionals working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in East Jerusalem, as part of MARVA’s efforts to reach diverse populations in communities across Israel. Not only did this take place during the pandemic, but also amid spiraling tensions around the time of the war in May. Being part of this group of diverse individuals — Jews, Christians and Muslims — all united by common vision to help elderly residents of East Jerusalem was remarkable and motivates us to seek further connections across Israel.
In Their Words: The Pandemic
Inspiring stories of how grantees are responding to COVID with our help.
“Dozens of individuals reached out to MARVA during this period out of concern for neighbors, acquaintances and strangers who needed help. We are inspired by their dedication and initiative.“
— Dr. Mickey Schindler, MARVA
“Not embracing Pure Heart scholars, while knowing they needed a hug from me, was unbearable.“
— Sherelle Hogan, Pure Heart Foundation
“We focused on staying real and in the moment, aware that thinking and working flexibly was key to surviving a time of constant change and uncertainty. I’m so proud of that.“
— Beth Steinberg, Shutaf
“I became almost grateful for the chance to step back from the frenzy of the day-to-day work, and truly reflect on the future of Shutaf.“
— Miriam Avraham, Shutaf
“Tragedy made us stop and reflect on whether we were fighting an uphill battle that could never be won.“
— Michelle Suazo, The Food Project of UEmpower of Maryland