Shortly before Shabbos, each Crown Heights Hatzalah member and his wife was gifted with an exquisite bouquet of flowers and a hand-selected wine. Who was behind it, and how did it come about?
By Anash.org writer
If you’ve ever had to call Hatzalah, you know firsthand the dedication and care with which the legendary Crown Heights volunteers serve our community. Whether at work, a simcha, or home with their families, they stand prepared to drop everything and run to save a life at a moment’s notice.
Unfortunately, over the past two weeks, the unwavering commitment and chesed of Hatzalah members have been put to the test. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many in the community in urgent need of care, and these men are on the front line helping them. So when two Crown Heights vendors were contacted about coordinating an appreciation campaign, they were immediately on board.
“Hatzalah is a great organization and we love to help them out,” said Mendy Eber of Eber’s Liquor & Wine. “The last couple of weeks they’ve been working very hard, and several members got infected with the coronavirus. The volunteer coordinator, JJ Katz, came to us with the idea of giving a bottle of wine for each hatzalah member and flowers for his wife.”
“We picked a nice bottle, something a little extra,” Eber told Anash.org. “It’s a lot of members, around 65, so we started to look for a company that would be willing to help us out with the cost.”
That company was Shiloh Winery. Though it was already Shabbos in Israel, Eber spoke to his contacts at Kedem and Royal in America to arrange what they could.
“While I was speaking to Jonathan Abitan of Royal, there were Hatzalah sirens in the background,” Eber said. “We didn’t have much time to think; we wanted to make sure that everyone would get it before Shabbos.”
Meanwhile, Chanie Greenbaum of Chanie Greenbaum Events was busy with a project of her own.
“Menachem Sheinberger of Holesome Bagels reached out to me with this idea and said that he would help cover the cost if I could make flower arrangements,” Greenbaum told Anash.org. She immediately mobilized to get it done before Shabbos.
Both Eber and Greenbaum say the gift generated an enthusiastic and heartwarming response.
“Many of the Hatzalah wives sent me pictures and beautiful messages of thanks, ” Greenbaum said
One messager mentioned that word of the gifts spread to Hatzalah volunteers in other cities, who were moved to see that the community recognizes the extent of their sacrifice.
“They really appreciated it,” Eber said. “After a long week, and I’m sure they were working on Shabbos too, they came home to find flowers and a nice wine they could enjoy on Shabbos.”