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Do You Know This Family?

Do you know a family that receives the weekly Tomche Shabbos package? If the answer is no, you might think again after reading Mrs. A.’s story:

We are a typical family. I wear fashionable clothes, and my children all received pretty new Shabbos shoes this winter season. My family enjoys Shabbos and Yom Tov meals like everyone else. We live in a nice, private home in a regular neighborhood, and we even have two cars parked in our driveway.

Yes, we are a typical Tomche Shabbos family. I wear fashionable clothes, thanks to a relative who updates her wardrobe regularly and sends me her gently used clothing. My children’s new Shabbos shoes were gifts from my parents. We enjoy our Shabbos meals, thanks to the generous Tomche Shabbos packages we receive each week, and we spent the last yom tov, Succos, at my in-laws because we couldn’t afford to make yom tov at home. Our nice, private home may not be ours for much longer, because we’ve paid our mortgage bill only once or twice in the eight years that we’ve lived here. A lawyer has been working on our case pro bono, dragging out the process in court so that our eviction keeps getting postponed, b’chasdei Hashem. I am grateful for each day that we live with a roof over our heads. As for the cars, I sometimes wonder what the Tomche Shabbos drivers think, but my husband and I both work, and our jobs make owning a vehicle a necessity.

Life wasn’t always this way. I still remember when my husband and I were a newly married couple, facing our future with optimism and joy. When I graduated with a master’s degree in my chosen field, I was sure our financial future was bright. However, my husband made a real estate investment that didn’t quite turn out as he had hoped. In the end, the bank repossessed the two properties he’d purchased, leaving us with serious debt. We had just closed on our family home at the time and soon found ourselves unable to afford our new home either.

Since then, life has been a continuous struggle. My husband has been out of a job several times, and Tomche Shabbos has been instrumental in helping him secure his last job. Mr. Rosenstock provides us with much-needed support, and he continues surprising me with his ability to see the big picture. He understands the stress our situation can put on a couple’s shalom bayis, as it is tempting to blame one’s spouse for the poor judgment that caused the family’s challenges. Indeed, it has taken much personal growth to separate past choices from our current reality.

It’s devastating to know that I cannot give our children all they want, and even some things that they truly need. Nonetheless, I know my love and support is the most valuable gift I can give them, and as a result, they are confident, popular students who do well in school, baruch Hashem.

I doubt acquaintances recognize how dire our financial situation is. We don’t wear a badge that identifies us as Tomche Shabbos recipients. Perhaps you know us well. And if you don’t know my family, it may be another close neighbor, friend or family member who benefits directly from your donation to Tomche Shabbos.

Indeed, it is people like you who make it possible for us to be a “typical family” and live our lives with dignity. Thank you.