NECHAMA’s mission, rooted in the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam — repairing the world — and focused on providing comfort and hope to communities affected by natural disasters, is especially relevant today. As in each year, Spring brings new beginnings and new opportunities; this Spring also has brought new challenges.
As a disaster response organization, we constantly are learning and adapting to ever-changing environments. As such, we are evolving to the needs of our communities near and far and shifting our focus to COVID-related programming. We already have distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) that we had in stock to first responders and eldercare facilities in need, and now we are assisting organizations that require our experience in mobilizing and organizing volunteers. We will continue this effort for the foreseeable future, until we, as a nation, can return to some sense of normalcy.
This pandemic has paused much of our lives; it will not, however, stop the flooding, tornados, and hurricanes still to come.
Due to CDC regulations, we are unable to respond to natural disasters in our traditional ways, including engaging volunteers to support our work, which has had a significant impact on our organization’s financial stability. We have no intention of letting the impacts of Coronavirus incapacitate our organization, and so we are taking a number of steps to reduce costs as we pivot to face this new world.
Our entire NECHAMA community and our nation requires comfort during this great pause, especially in recent days during Passover — a time when we should have been able to gather with loved ones and celebrate our freedoms and new beginnings. Rather, we have been separated by a pandemic. As our Board Member Rabbi Beau stated, “… it occurred to me that there are two kinds of freedom—freedom from, and freedom to—and Pesach is about both. Pesach calls on us to transform our freedom from into a freedom to, and then use that freedom to help those in need. What better reminder could there be in this era of Coronavirus, during which so many are in need and will continue to be in need? After all, we are taught that we were freed for a purpose—to make the world a better place.
You have provided us the freedom to assist thousands of families and communities over the years. Your generosity enables us to serve those affected by natural disasters. We hope that our work has brought you comfort, and served your interests in helping others.
During this extraordinary time, please continue providing us the freedom to repair the world and deliver hope and comfort to those in desperate need. Your financial support of NECHAMA is what allows us to continue our necessary and nationally-respected work as the only Jewish disaster response organization in the U.S. Please support NECHAMA by donating today.