I found out about Chai Lifeline back in 1995. I was in Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey as part of a sales job when I saw a Jewish couple. I asked if I could assist in any way but they replied that they were already being helped by Chai Lifeline. That was when I called Chai Lifeline and signed up to be a volunteer.
As a volunteer, I drove families to medical appointments all over New York City, from Memorial Sloan Kettering to Columbia Presbyterian. In 2000, I was honored as volunteer of the year at Chai Lifeline’s annual dinner. I soon took on longer and longer drives and additional tasks. One day in 2002, [Director of Client Services] Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff asked me to join the Chai Lifeline staff and I have been here ever since, helping families for more than 20 years. I always had a passion for helping people get the things they need and want. One of the more notable things I did was change the way we transported patients and sent food to families, offering them a wide variety of fresh and delicious meals every day. When I started there were about 20 volunteer drivers, and today we have over 300! It’s been truly incredible to be part of such tremendous growth and help so many people.
Coordinating transportation can lead to some really special moments. One story that stands out to me was a special request we once received from a very sick child (who has since passed away). He asked to be taken home from the hospital in a big Hummer. I called around and found a donor who was able to arrange it. Watching the smile on his face as he got into the car truly meant everything!