We thought we would be discharged well before Pesach but when our son went into acute renal failure, those hopes were quickly dashed. Since we had already been in the hospital for weeks, we were very familiar with Chesed 24/7 and its services. The Chesed 24/7 Hospitality Room became our second home and our lifeline; the volunteers and staff became family. While we were physically and emotionally unprepared for Pesach, Chesed 24/7 was not — and they carried us every step of the way.
On the night of bedikas chametz, volunteers descended on the Chesed Room to clean, kasher and turn it over for Pesach. The Shabbos warmer, hot water urn, and microwave were replaced with Pesachdig ones; the refrigerator, cabinet, and counters were meticulously cleaned and lined. The rooms were then completely restocked with nuts and fruits, yogurts, potato chips and other kosher l’Pesach food and snacks.
The room was stocked with matzah and supplies necessary for a Seder and Yom Tov, including Haggados, ka’aros, grape juice, bechers, talleisim, and machzorim. Walking into the room, the aura of Pesach surrounded me and enveloped me — even down to the tinfoil-lined counters. The Chesed 24/7 Shabbos Boxes, given to patients and families for Shabbos, were transformed to Pesach Boxes. Each box contained grape juice, a becher, electric candles, besamim, kosher l’Pesach chocolates, a tablecloth for the hospital tray and matzah-taschen. Chesed 24/7 delivered hot meals to us each day of Yom Tov to enjoy with our hospital family.
In the end, we had a very special Pesach. Although we weren’t home, Chesed 24/7 brought simchas Yom Tov to us by providing a Seder and a room where all who were in the hospital became family. This support during a stressful and overwhelming time cannot be explained. Whether its Erev Pesach, Pesach or any other day of the year, their chessed know no bounds. A