Rosh Hashanah 2019 • Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Friends of MAZON Canada,
As the year 5780 fast approaches, I’m reflecting on the last year and the choices I've made.
Have I lived my values? Do I have t’shuvah (repentance) to do?
As I consider my impact, these words from the Mishna are on my mind:
"Anyone who saves a life is considered as if he saved an entire world.”
Now, I don’t know what kind of year you’ve had. I know one thing, though: you’re a supporter of MAZON Canada, the Jewish Response to Hunger. So I know that through MAZON Canada, you’ve saved an entire world. Here's how:
Food aid is never just about a single meal. Food aid is about dignity, privacy, and long-term health outcomes. It’s about healing from illness and pain relief. It’s about giving it your best at work or school, about relieving burdens on the education and healthcare systems, and the ability to be part of community.
Together, as a community of Jews and allies, we're making all those changes through 450 meals a day in 2019 - for more than 20% of all hungry people nation-wide.
Consider the following: Right now, someone is having the worst day of their life.
Right now, as you read this letter, someone has finally admitted she needs help. Despite her best efforts to budget and plan, the cupboard is empty.
She's hungry. She's tired. And so is her eldest; he's been falling asleep at daycare when she can't feed him breakfast, and he's been hitting other kids when he has hunger tantrums. Her youngest isn’t gaining weight at the rate the doctors said he should be, so she’s been going to extra appointments.
She never thought things would get this far. She’s always thought that food banks and soup kitchens were for poor people, and she never thought of herself as poor. She’s just going through a rough patch since her husband left... Which was eighteen months ago now.
With a lump in her throat, she’s turning her eyes to her cell phone right now and typing the words “food bank near me".
She's not alone. Last year, more than 4 million people in Canada had to choose between food and other critical expenses - and the numbers keep rising. More than 75,000 Canadians visit a food bank for the first time each month.
With her son in the back seat of the car, he can't see her cry all the way there.
But that’s when the story changes:
When she gets to a MAZON Canada partner project, you’re there for her…
and the worst day of her life turns around.
Your gift provides a hamper of everything she needs to keep her and her son fed this week. And so much more:
• With your food support, she has a little extra money to hire a babysitter so she can go to a job interview or two for a better position - and gets one.
• With the extra money from the new job, she can afford better food on her own, including healthy vegetables and proteins that growing children need.
• Her son is sweet and charming in class again. His teacher, no longer stressed and distracted by his misbehaviour, has time to focus on other students.
• Her youngest starts gaining weight again. Without that extra appointment, her pediatrician can take one more family off the wait list.
And so, little by little, goodness ripples into the world so far beyond food - because of your one good deed.
So, as you head towards the High Holidays and consider the impact you’ve had on your neighbours in the last year, remember:
Your gift doesn't end with the person who goes to a food bank or eats a meal. The small good deeds you've done in 5779 have bigger effects than you can ever know.
None of the people in this story will know your name to thank you personally - the mother, the children, the doctor, the teacher. But you’ve changed all their lives with a gift. So please let me be grateful on their behalf:
Thank you for your support of MAZON Canada and of your Canadian neighbours in need.
Your generosity changes lives, and is “as if you’ve saved as whole world”.
While it is said that the Book of Life is still open, you can ensure that you’re already there for someone on the worst day of their life in 5780 - by joining our Rosh HaShana campaign with a gift today.
Shana Tovah from our staff and Board, and may you be written into the Book of Life.
With the truest gratitude,