Get Rich Quick| March 23, 2021
As we mark one year since the pandemic changed our lives, we asked you to introduce us to your COVID heroes
It's 3 a.m. In the basement of a Lakewood home, a phone rings. The call is answered promptly; the guy answering has been awake for the past 36 hours. The caller is from the chevra kaddisha in a city on the West Coast. “We can’t do any more taharos,” he says. “We don’t have protective gear to wear. Please help us!”
The virus had been active for weeks, spreading disease, panic, and confusion. People were sick; people were suffering; people lost their jobs. Among all the chaos and fear, there were a few who stood up and said, I see a need, I will take care of it. Yechiel Swissa is one of those.
Yechiel has always been the type to spot a good opportunity and take advantage of it early. That’s why he invested early on in masks, planning to sell at a profit. Until he got a call from a local chesed organization. They desperately needed masks to continue their work. He listened and said, “Your masks will at by your door tomorrow.”
That’s how Supplies 4 Lives started.
Overnight, with the hadrachah of his rebbi, Rav Uren Reich, Yechiel created a large and efficient organization, complete with dedicated logistics, marketing, fundraising, outreach, and computer teams. Supplies 4 Lives became the go-to destination for Hatzolah, chevra kaddisha, and bikur cholim organizations nationwide who needed protective gear to continue their holy work.
Instead of turning a profit, Yechiel donated his time, energy, and money. He could have collapsed in confusion or took personal financial gain, but his goal was no longer to turn a profit — now he was saving lives. Like I said, Yechiel has always been the type to spot a good deal.
—A friend who knows
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 854)
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