The Incredible Story of The Miracle Twins

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THE HANUKAH TOY STORY

By: Pnina Souid



All Jewish children look forward to Hanukah. Well before the holiday, kids not only learn the history of the Hanukah story, but they also sing Hanukah songs, perform in plays, and do hands-on projects. Lighting the menorah at home, playing dreidel games, and receiving Hanukah gelt and other gifts are just some of the delights that children anticipate.

But imagine how children who have to spend Hanukah in the hospital feel.  At this time of happiness, these kids have it extra rough.

Here is where the Mitzvah Man organization steps in, with its Hanukah Toy Distribution Project,   to bring light and happiness to Jewish children in over 15 hospitals in New York. A special committee gathers 2,600 new toys to distribute to 2,000 hospitalized children. When volunteers deliver these toys, the smiles on the kids’ faces are  priceless.

Needless to say, this project is a huge undertaking, which requires  considerable coordination and cooperation. Donors must be approached, the merchandise must be collected and  stored,  and  the volunteers must be scheduled to deliver the toys on Hanukah.

Betty, a volunteer for the Mitzvah Man organization, supervises the Hanukah distribution. During the week of Hanukah, manufacturers and wholesalers ship all the toys they are willing to donate to Betty. One year, close to the end of Hanukah, Betty was shipped an extra 2,600 toys!  She called the Mitzvah Man in a panic.

“What do I do with all these toys? How did this happen?!”

The Mitzvah Man answered her, “Don’t panic. This is a good problem. We will be able to make another 2,000 kids happy. Give me an hour while I work my contacts.”

One hour later the Mitzvah Man called Betty back with the good news.

“There is a Bikur Holim in Lakewood that responded to my search. I received a call from a man (we’ll call him Rabbi K.) who saw photos of the Mitzvah Man and his volunteers distributing toys to children in the hospital on Hanukah. This is the message he left.”

“We also distribute toys to children in the hospital for Hanukah. However, these last few years our funds for this program have not been sufficient. Our organization has many hospitals in to give to, and if you have a few dozen extra toys we will be happy to take them off your hands.”

The Mitzvah Man promptly called Rabbi K. and told him, “I have 2,600 toys.”

Rabbi K. was flabbergasted. The Mitzvah Man continued, “There is one condition. You must send volunteers to my coordinator’s house in Brooklyn today and pick up all the toys.”

Rabbi K. agreed. “With pleasure! Now we won’t have to disappoint the children we were planning to give to, and we will make even more children happy than we actually anticipated.”

Betty breathed a sigh of relief after seeing that those 2,600 toys leave her house, very much aware of the siyatta d’shmaya that comes with doing hesed.

For the Mitzvah Man, this siyatta d’shmaya is what propels him to continue to do hesed and to encourage others to do so, too. It’s a win-win proposition, and in this case over 2,000 children were the winners.