In honor of Rosh Chodesh Kislev, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights has announced a new project to address seniors and vulnerable adults living alone.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the day the Rebbe recovered after a serious heart attack in 1977 is a day of celebration among chassidim. As an organization dedicated to providing support for those dealing with illness and their families, the day is especially meaningful to the team at Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim and it seemed the most appropriate time to initiate their ‘Good Morning Crown Heights’ project.
The project offers seniors and vulnerable adults a check-in call each morning. During the last nine months, loneliness and isolation have been especially rampant among this population. Some are nervous to leave home and with no family around they can go entire days without hearing the sound of another human voice. This tests their mental and emotional wellbeing at a time when they are already dealing with anxiety and other physical limitations. As part of Good Morning Crown Heights, volunteers will call every registered participant at the time slot of their choosing to wish them a good morning and check in on their wellbeing. Participants can choose a course of action they would like the volunteer to take if they don’t answer the phone at the appointed time and during a subsequent follow-up call. They can designate an in case of emergency contact, or ask for a neighbor to knock on their door.
This project is an addition to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim’s already full roster of aid programs for which they have seen added demand in the last months since the onset of the pandemic. Their services include providing financial assistance for copays and other medical expenses, paying for household help where it is needed, arranging rides to doctors’ offices, or hospitals, and assembling gifts, or toy packages to brighten the day of a child burdened by their own ill health or that of a family member. In addition, each family’s specific needs are addressed, whether with a visit, care for children, or offering respite for those sitting by their loved one’s bedside.
In the words of a recent recipient of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim’s help, “Time and time again I am overcome with gratitude by the continuous chesed of Bikur Cholim. Especially recently with the unfortunate challenges of life and the countless families and individuals you serve. You reach out and help in such a private respectful manner – it is tremendously appreciated!” Another thank you note reads, “I would like to thank you for all you have done for my family and me. With our baby in critical condition, you embraced us in an unbelievable way, making sure we all have what we need; food, help around the house, and daily volunteers. You helped us stock our empty apartment in such a ba’kovodike way and always besimcha.”
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim is grateful to their “army of dedicated volunteers and generous benefactors who selflessly, and without fanfare rose to the challenge, even at a time of difficulty to meet the needs of an influx of patients and their families in the past nine months.” Volunteers cooked and delivered dozens of meals a week for families dealing with illness, accompanied patients to appointments, and chaperoned them home after procedures. They often even went beyond their initial request, taking kids on trips, researching additional medical resources, and providing an extended level of support to the patient and their families.
Good Morning Crown Heights is a service for seniors over 65, or vulnerable adults over 50 who are living alone in Crown Heights, with no immediate family in the Tristate area. To register for a daily morning check-in, fill out this form.
If you would like to volunteer to help make the Good Morning check-in calls, visit https://bikurcholimch.org/volunteer.php