A “Chance” encounter

ASKAN.org serves as a fill-in to the needs of the community.
With so many Chesed organizations serving New York, New Jersey, the States and abroad, there is only one thing to comment: Mi Ke’amcha Yisroel!

When a person or family is confronted with a medical crisis, an unforeseen or atypical situation they feel lost, helpless. Which organization can assist? Is there transportation available? Bikur Cholim rooms in the hospital or area? How can I get necessary equipment or supplies? Who can refer to the appropriate liaisons? Who can fill – in the missing blanks in this current predicament?

ASKAN.org is comprised of hundreds of volunteers and case managers who are ready to help 24/6. People can be directed to the appropriate organizations or a wide spectrum of resources by dialing the answering system at 518-217-8887 or by e-mail support@ASKAN.org.

ASKAN.org maintains a computerized list of organizations nationwide and provides the appropriate information in minutes. When further avenues are needed, ASKAN.org broadcasts an email and tweets to their hundreds of followers who come to the rescue.

Since its inception, 18 months ago, ASKAN.org facilitated their services to hundreds of families. Each encounter is a different circumstance – each a story in itself.

We would like to share with you just two short stories to describe the daily activities at ASKAN.org

A chance encounter:
Two weeks ago, ASKAN.org was contacted by a family who needed their son’s medical records delivered to Columbia Hospital by 2 PM. The doctor was going out of town and wanted to review it in order to schedule a surgery in 2 weeks.

An ASKAN volunteer took the call and decided not to procrastinate and had the medical papers at the hospital by 11 AM.
As the volunteer walked into the hospital building, he by “chance” met the Doctor who needed those records urgently.

The doctor was amazed by the early arrival and as soon as he started skimming through the papers he exclaimed in shock: “My patient has a tumor that needs to be removed now! This is not waiting 2 weeks! You’re lucky you came early! It just so happens that my partner is on premises. Lets prep the patient now and we’ll schedule surgery in an hour.”
It was a long painful surgery after a few hours the doctors came out with the greatest news “we have removed your sons tumor”
The grateful parents called ASKAN.org the next morning and explained through their tears of joy: “Do you know that delivering those records earlier than expected literally saved our son’s life!?”

A breath of fresh air:
The call came in at 10:00 PM. Someone was in need of an oxygen machine and no gemach was open that time of the night. ASKAN.org tweeted and emailed the request and within minutes they received over 5 phone calls from directors of organizations that provide medical care to patients. The oxygen machine was picked up and delivered within 15 minutes of the original call!

The connections, the motivation and innovation of this organization helps the community face any crisis because they know that ASKAN.org is there to fill-in the void and help.

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