Am Echad has limited resources - only what is donated by its members. Therefore, we put a lot of effort in finding those needy who are in the worst situation. As of June 2000 we provide monthly support to ten people. We identified many more that are in the similar situation, but we need more donations to start helping them.

Our two volunteers in St. Petersburg receive from Am Echad a list of potential recipients, that is compiled based on the following criteria: the oldest disabled elderly with no relatives and living alone, who have the lowest income and no outside help.

Then our volunteers visit each potential recipient to verify their eligibility for Am Echad's assistance, and report to Am Echad, where the final eligibility decision is made.

This process ensures that the assistance is provided to the most needy.

One of the most important criteria is the monthly income. On average, each of our recipients needs $30 a month for medicine, and $40 a month for food. Compare these numbers with the incomes on the right, and you will understand, that Am Echad's assistance may be their only hope to live their last years with dignity and with less pain.

There are many more elderly on our waiting list, but we cannot help them without you.

E.M.B. is 79 years old. She lives in an old, run-down apartment building with her seriously ill 49-year-old daughter, M.V.L. She holds an M.A. in drama studies. Her whole life she worked in the State Theater Library. E.M.B.'s daughter cannot work because of a serious illness, and she receives no state pension. Together they have to live on $20 a month. So E.M.B has to continue to go to work every day, rain or shine. That adds $14 a month to their budget and brings the total income to $34 - about one-third of what they need for medicine and food. Since February 2000 E.M.B. and M.V.L. have received 75 dollars a month from Am Echad. You can read more about E.M.B. in Am Echad: The Beginning.

M.S.Z. is 100 years old. She lives alone. She has relatives who emigrated to the U.S., but they give her no help: "I raised them all, and they all forgot about me," says M.S.Z. On the day of the visit by the Am Echad volunteer, she was celebrating her unofficial centennial. A lady who lives in the same communal apartment (an apartment where there is a different family in every room, with all the neighbors sharing one kitchen and bathroom) comes to visit M.S.Z. every day. A Hesed Avraham volunteer, she has been taking care of M.S.Z. for the last five years. For all her expenses M.S.Z. has less than $16 a month. This wouldn't be enough even for the medicine, but she doesn't have to be concerned with that, since most of this $16 is spent for food not much can be spared to buy medications. Since May 2000 M.S.Z. has received 50 dollars a month from Am Echad.

M.S.R. is 88 years old. She lives in a shabby old apartment building with her mentally ill 52-year-old daughter B.M.E., who cannot work because of her illness. M.S.R. is immobile and deaf, with no money for a hearing aid. At the time of the visit by an Am Echad volunteer, there was almost no food in the apartment. Together, the mother and daughter have to live on $30 a month. Since February 2000 M.S.R. and B.M.E. have received $75 dollars a month from Am Echad. You can read more about M.S.R. in Trip to St. Petersburg.

S.I.L. is 76 years old. She lives alone. S.I.L was a high-school teacher her whole life. She taught thousands of children, but there is no one around now. She has no children of her own, and no close relatives. Her pension is only $20 a month. Now, at 76 years of age, she has no money for her heart medicine. She takes it once a week instead of twice a day. And yet, when she was offered assistance from Am Echad, she refused, saying that there are many others who are in a much worse situation than she is. She agreed to accept only a one-time subsidy of 50 dollars. You can see a photo of S.I.L. in Trip to St. Petersburg.

E.V.M. is 66 years old. Her pension is just $15 a month. She has an older sister who lives with a granddaughter in St. Petersburg. They are having a hard time on their own. Her relatives abroad send no help. E.V.M. has been living alone since 1982, when she lost her mother. She never married and never had children. E.V.M. is an artist. Her whole apartment is decorated with her work. A little table with some art supplies, sketches, and portraits are in the kitchen. E.V.M. has chronic-fatigue syndrome, but there's not enough money for medicine and vitamins. She lives with a cat, no television, just a radio. She rarely leaves the house. The day E.V.M. was visited by the Am Echad volunteer, she did get out to go to the store and sit on a bench outside. E.V.M. used to get help from Social Services in getting groceries, but lately they've forgotten about her. Since June 2000 E.V.M. has received 50 dollars a month from Am Echad.

A.D.D. is 87 years old. Her pension is $24 a month. She lives in a miserable communal apartment, together with an invalid nephew, who receives a $16 state pension monthly (this amount doesn't cover even the medicine he must take), her older sister (who is half-deaf and suffers from brain-vessel problems), and her husband, both handicapped, with a pension of about $25 a month each. A.D.D. suffered a stroke, and ever since she hasn't been able to think straight. With malnutrition sores on her legs, she cannot walk without crutches. There was a threat of a leg amputation more than once, but so far she has been able to avoid it. For a long time now A.D.D has been unable to leave the house. She has grandchildren with families of their own, but they cannot help much (one of them is unemployed). Since June 2000 A.D.D. has received 50 dollars a month from Am Echad, and help to some other members of her family will be provided once the funds are raised.

A.B.R. is 54 years old. He lives alone in a run-down apartment. Two years ago he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and one of his kidneys was removed. The remaining one is in a very bad condition and barely functions. A.B.R. needs at least $14 a month for the medicine, but his pension is only $25, and he cannot afford most of medicine he needs. He is supposed to be on a special diet, but cannot afford it, and the illness is slowly killing him. Since June 2000 A.B.R. has received 50 dollars a month from Am Echad.

G.I.G. is 85 years old. She lives alone in one room in a communal apartment. For the past fifteen years she has been bedridden. Her neighbor, a Hesed Avraham volunteer, is helping her. G.I.G. is very weak. Because of a medical problem with her leg, G.I.G. is in such pain that she cannot be turned over to be bathed. The pension G.I.G. receives is $25 a month, which is not nearly enough for food, medicine, and nursing care. Since June 2000 G.I.G. has received 50 dollars a month from Am Echad.

I.P.V. is 50 years old. She lives alone. I.P.V. was born with muscular dystrophy. She suffers from serious kidneys problems and low blood pressure. As if this weren't enough, I.P.V. is severely allergic to many substances, including the medicine, so she needs a special diet. However, an extreme money shortage (her pension is less than $16 a month) constrains her to eat free dinners delivered to her from Hesed Avraham. But the food is salty, and after eating I.P.V. has physical complications. It is extremely hard for her to cook. Her legs are immobile, and routine bathing turns into an acrobatic feat. When I.P.V. could still move, she worked as a librarian. She writes poetry, and a small edition of her poems was published recently. Since June 2000, I.P.V. has received $50 dollars a month from Am Echad to buy the food she needs and to get nursing and domestic assistance.

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