| My COVID Hero |

Love in a Box

As we mark one year since the pandemic changed our lives, we asked you to introduce us to your COVID heroes


I place the banana muffin on a plate and just look at it. I’m hungry — starving, actually. Did I eat breakfast? Lunch? But banana muffins are for luxurious mugs of coffee with a good read, not to be inhaled thoughtlessly while your kids scribble on the walls, your husband’s out of commission with COVID, and your sanity is slowly easing its way out under the locked door.

And there are still ten days left to quarantine.

But then I see the paper sticking out of the cellophane wrapper.

Dear Parent,

We know that at times things may be far from serene,

When you have your kids stuck at home in quarantine…

I swallow a lump in my throat as I read through the cheerful ditty.

Wishing you a wonderful bidud day


Your neighbors, fellow parents of been-in-bidud kids

That’s when I cry. There’s more in the bag, little gifts geared to my kids’ ages, tchotchkes from the shekel store that are suddenly priceless because we can’t actually go there. Or anywhere.

And then the dinners arrive. Packaged meals, schnitzel and rice and vegetables, with little GoBidud stickers on the outside.

I know my inimitable sister Rachel, a volunteer for GoBidud’s Bidud Buddies, is the one who signed me up, as I am actually too overwhelmed to go onto GoBidud’s easily accessible website and sign up myself.

Rachel and her team of adorable helpers (aka her kids) spent months on end making GoBidud packages for families in quarantine, with neighborhood teens delivering the packages to various communities.

Over time, the shekel-store projects graduated to family games, toys, and more. GoBidud, spearheaded by Rabbi Yosef Ettlinger and managed by the tireless Mrs. Lamm and Mrs. Abrahmson, is one of those organizations that make you believe in humanity again.

The packages, meals, medicine pickup, errands, and toy-and-game swaps are small things that in a moment of need become larger than life itself.

The ten days passed in an agonizingly slow blur that I’ve blocked from memory, but the one thing I will never forget is a group of Jews who stepped up to the plate for those stranded in quarantine.

—Ariella Schiller

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 854)

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