Name: Moshe Vatch
Year Volunteered at Misaskim: 4
Tell me what being a volunteer for Misaskim is like for you.
A typical day as a Misaskim coordinator starts with checking if we have any deliveries or pick-ups pending. If we do, we inform the volunteers and check to see who’s available to handle them. We then have a checklist of things we are regularly on top of. We constantly ensure our stock of equipment is operational, we replace broken items, handle the local finances, take care of the regular maintenance of our van, and more. Of course, there are phone calls from community members asking us for help, and we direct them appropriately. It’s essentially a job that requires a level of availability 24/7.
How do you balance a job and volunteer work?
When Misaskim of Queens first started, it was very difficult to manage my full-time responsibilities along with Misaskim. I learned a lot about business management and operations while managing that learning curve. When we didn’t have volunteers available, it was on me to personally handle all of the responsibilities. Those difficulties were what brought the Queens branch to what it is today. The harder it was for me, the more I was driven to build an operation that can run on its own, day-to-day. We found the right volunteers and implemented some great processes, and the gears started turning on their own. At this point, I wouldn’t be able to balance it all without the incredible dedication of our volunteers. Beyond that, I grew up in a family where chesed has always been very important. I was taught that no matter how busy a person is, there’s always time for more chesed.
What would you say is unique about Misaskim Queens?
Misaskim Queens is unique in many ways. First and foremost is the cohesiveness that is abundantly clear from the interactions of our members. We are zocheh to have a great group of volunteers. Second is the diverse backgrounds of the people, and the geographic coverage area we service. Queens also covers as far east as Great Neck, and as far west as Long Island City. Our volunteers go above and beyond to quickly and efficiently provide quality service to so many people, with a tailored touch for each family.
What do you wish others would know about Misaskim?
I wish others knew about the full range of services Misaskim offers. Most people equate Misaskim with shiv’ah homes, but people don’t realize how much more we do. Saving neshamos from cremation, minyan help at burials, y’somim and almanah programs, clean-ups, and more. Misaskim does so much for the community. I’m proud to be a small part of such a big picture.
By Rochel Feldman