Today we visited with five deserving organizations where I asked the question, “What is your greatest need?”

They all answered the same way, hands gesturing everywhere.

As Ariel Rasovsky of Beit Singer said, “How do you choose? There are so many needs.”

There are 97 children currently at Beit Singer, 70% of them victims of sexual violence. It is heartbreaking to hear the statistics, their needs unimaginable. They receive a stipend of $200 per child per year to purchase shoes, clothes, bedding, and towels. As you stand on the grounds, you see buildings that need renovations, a therapeutic zoo that needs new cages, and furniture that is old and worn — along with staff who need to be paid. You wonder, where to begin? Then, you see the children.

Although their spirits have been broken, when you speak to Ariel, you know that, if anyone can put them back together, it’s people like him who can. I wish Beit Singer was the only organization we saw; the same needs exist just a few miles away at Emunah-Sarah Herzog Children’s Center in downtown Afula. The love, desire, patience, and care these leaders have for their children are omnipresent.

So, where does Federation come in? You can see our dollars at work, but it’s more than just cages being built at the therapeutic zoo; it’s about making success stories.

Menachem, or “Manny,” as he is known, taught us about the beauty and importance of our contributions. He along with his brothers spent their childhood at Emunah. The care and support he received has now allowed him to pay it forward. He currently lives on site with his own family. His own personal experiences allow him to better care for the group of 12 special boys he oversees. Success is what it is all about, and we were grateful to hear the stories of many Sarah Herzog graduates attending university, getting good jobs, and starting families of their own.

I am grateful to see the Federation’s allocations process, and our committee-members working hard to make every dollar count. But I believe that there’s so much more we can do. Maybe someday we will be able to fulfill each of our partner organizations’ greatest needs.

Manny, Lucy, and Janet