(VIDEO & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
As word of the horrific tragedy from the nursing home in Hollywood, Florida spreads, YWN has learned of a near-tragedy which was just averted thank to volunteers from Chesed Shel Emes operating in Miami in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Sources tell YWN that the Chesed Shel Emes call center received a request to do a wellness check on an elderly person at the “Olympic Tower” in North Miami Beach. Upon arrival, they found an elderly Holocaust survivor in her apartment in sweltering heat – without drinkable water or any food to eat. She had not been checked on since before the storm.
While attending to the woman, another volunteer walked down the hallway and began knocking on doors. Shockingly, more than 30 Holocaust survivors were found without any water or food – many also in need of medications.
A dozen volunteers arrived at the building and began taking care of their needs, bringing them food, water and ice.
Chesed Shel Emes has so far distributed more than 1000 ready to eat meals (Labriut) since the storm. The meals were brought down from NY by the Chesed Shel Emes convoy of vehicles which arrived on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, YWN has learned that prior to the storm, CSE had ordered 1000 meals to be shipped to Miami. Unfortunately, those meals have since been locked in a closed FedEx facility in Jacksonville Florida. There was no way to get them out.
Rabbi Mark Rosenberg, the Chaplain for the Florida Highway Patrol and Director of Chesed Shel Emes, reached out to the State Police for urgent assistance on Wednesday. Police immediately responded to the FedEx facility and assisted in allowing FedEx to release the skid of precious meals. The State Trooper went above and beyond the call of duty and actually assisted in loading the CSE truck with the meals (see video and photos below).
That food is currently en-route via police escort to the CSE Command Center in North Miami Beach, and will be distributed to people in need in the next few hours.
Chaplain Rabbi Mark Rosenberg spoke to YWN and made special mention of the Florida Highway Patrol – specifically Major Christopher Dellapietra of troop E, as well as Sergeant Molina who assisted in making sure the meals were able to be taken from the FedEx facility.
Rabbi Rosenberg notes that he has been in constant contact with Colonel Gene Spaulding, who is the Director of the Highway Patrol, and tells YWN that his cooperation has been incredible and is deserving of much credit and thanks as he was concerned that the Jewish community would have Kosher food.
CSE has been busy since the storm making house calls and checking on hundreds upon hundreds of elderly people and bringing them food and water. They have also arranged for around 1,000 gallons of fuel to be delivered to the community for people to power their generators.
A Chesed Fund Campaign has been launched by Chesed Shel Emmes – please click HERE if you would like to help them.
(Charles Gross – YWN)