Pidyon Shvuyim; Redeeming Captives
Sara*, a young Jewish American lady, travelled to Queensland, met up with a gentile, and a baby girl was born. Sara moved to Melbourne, and had to battle with her ex-partner for custody of her daughter. Unfortunately, as she is not an Australian citizen, she was not entitled to government benefits or assistance. Sara developed psychological issues, and was not able to pay the rent. With nowhere else in Melbourne to turn to, Sara approached the Melbourne Jewish Community Charity Fund (MJCF). Obviously MJCF helped. With MJCF assistance Sara was able to secure permanent residence, get well and successfully challenge for the custody of her daughter. The following is an extract from an email received by MJCF from the Women's Community Services organisation that was looking out for Sara: "I thought you might like to know that Sara* was granted full custody of her daughter yesterday, through the children's court. Your kindness and generosity throughout this stressful time for Sara was more beneficial than you could know. It meant Sara could focus her energy and efforts on getting her daughter back - she was vindicated by the psychiatrists and psychologists DHS made her attend, who all said that keeping the child from the mother, in this instance, was the wrong decision. Without your financial assistance Sara would have remained homeless and this alone would have been cause enough for DHS to continue denying Sara her daughter. From Sara and myself, I would like to say a very big thank you. Your gift made an enormous difference."
* Not her real name.