It is utterly amazing to Steven Odzer how this pandemic has brought out the best of people and the worst of people. People all over the country are stating this is not a pandemic. The reported number of people infected is too high. People are not dying from it, and wearing a mask is something they do not want to do. Most people believe that being forced to wear a face cover infringes on their rights as Americans.
Thankfully, there are people like Steven Odzer who sees the great need of our doctors, nurses, and all front-line workers as they give 100% to fight this battle and save lives. Steven Odzer saw a desperate need, picked up the phone, and called Rabbi Eitan Rubin, who teaches Odzen’s son at the rabbi’s yeshiva, asking if the rabbi could find people to donate to buy masks and hand sanitizer, which were in very short supply. Steven Odzer did not just ask for help. He put his money where his mouth was and made a donation of $100,000 to assist in this worthy endeavor.
It is hard for one to understand that in our great affluent country how it is possible to run out of these desperately needed supplies, but states are still struggling to keep up with demand five months into the pandemic. There must be a better way.
If it were not for private individuals like Steven Odzer and Rabbi Ruben doing everything they can to assist in this shortage, heaven only knows where we would be today.
Since Steven Odzer made that call and enlisted the help of the rabbi, over 35,000 N95 respirator masks and over 4,000 hand sanitizer dispensers have made their way to New York hospitals with the promise of more to come.
Sadly, it is getting easier to hear the number of deaths on the evening news. Our self-preservation kicks in and people tend to become numb to the problem. Steven Odzer says in March and April, people were talking about it everywhere. It was the only topic of discussion. Today people seem to be of the mindset if we ignore it, it will not touch us. Until the day it does. If and when it does, hopefully, the supplies will be there to help in our recovery.
Steven Odzer believes that if we all do what we can to make donations to this worthy cause, the supplies will get to those areas which need them the most. It just takes a few minutes to make a big difference. If you wish to donate, you can contact the rabbi at COVID19fund@bmgn.org.