An E-News Q&A

An E-News Q&A

Interview with Ellen Berman, member of Congregation Beth El's Empty Nesters

2015 Clothing donation

We thought that our readers might be interested in learning about the genesis of a donation that has had a significant impact on the well being of certain residents of the Hebrew Home who have infrequent visitors.

E-News: Ellen, tell us about your relationship with Charles E. Smith Life Communities.

Berman: My mother lived on 1-East in the Smith-Kogod Residence of the Hebrew Home for three years before passing away. She originally was a resident of Ring House, where she lived for several years, but then she moved to Landow House to receive a higher level of assistance. Eventually, it became clear that she would do best in a long-term care nursing environment so we moved her to the Hebrew Home. 

E-News: How did your group, the Empty Nesters, decide to focus their energies on helping our residents?

Berman: I was a very frequent visitor to my mother’s (dementia) unit where I learned from the head nurse that some of the residents had only sporadic visitors. The nurse, a wonderful woman, would purchase clothes and other small essentials for them when immediate needs arose. I told her that my husband and I would love to help out, and so occasionally she would tell me that she needed this or that for someone and we’d go out and purchase the items. 

When the Empty Nesters group was batting around ideas for a tzedakah project to coincide with our Hanukkah party, I suggested that we find a unit at the Home to “adopt” where we could donate new clothes to residents who needed them. I explained my experience with the Home and my mother’s unit. It was an easy sell. We are hoping to establish a long-term relationship with the Home.

E-News: Can you tell me who your contact was here and how you made arrangements?

Berman: Joe Hoffman, one of our Beth El Empty Nesters, put me in touch with a staff member who talked to people in different units and discovered that 4-East would be delighted to receive clothing. Our group gathered the donations at our Hanukkah party, and I delivered them personally to Rosalyn Abayomi, left, the acting clinical team manager on 4-East and 4-South, on behalf of the group.

E-News: We extend our warmest thanks to you and the Empty Nesters. We hope others become inspired by your heart-felt story.


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