From the very first time that Mushky Blotner heard about MyShliAch, she knew she wanted to be a part of it.
A friend had told her about the Merkos program that works by pairing young shluchim and shluchos with older bochurim and girls as learning partners and sources of inspiration.
“The idea of giving young shluchos the opportunity to catch up on what they’re missing out on, and that they should have someone looking out for them, someone who understands what they’re going through – it’s something I wish I could have had as a child on shlichus,” Mushky explained. “The attention, the chizuk – it’s so important for young shluchim.”
After signing up as a volunteer that very week, Mushky was assigned a young partner – a ten year old shlucha from Massachusetts – and became a member of MyShliAch’s dedicated team.
Last Sunday, Mushky was amongst dozens of her fellow MyShliach mentors who gathered in Crown Heights for a breakfast honoring their work.
The MyShliAch volunteers were treated to a beautifully arranged and delicious hot breakfast, complete with a host of chefs preparing fresh smoothies, pancakes, and french toast. Colored balloons brightened each table, but the true glow came from the centerpieces of heartfelt letters of thanks written by parents from around the world.
One such parent addressed the gathered crowd.
“The time that my daughter learns with her MyShliAch mentor is absolutely sacred to her,” said Mrs. Bassie Marcus of Mission Viejo, CA. “Nothing can interfere; not even a doctor’s appointment!” Even more impressive than the learning, she continued, is the level of influence and encouragement her daughter’s mentor has in personal matters. Her daughter even called her grandmother to wish her a happy birthday upon her MyShliAch mentor’s suggestion.
Chaya Mushka Moscowitz, Coordinator of MyShliAch Girls and Chayolei Tzivos Hashem, stressed the volunteers’ vital role in the Rebbe’s promise to shluchim. “The Rebbe told the shluchim that their children’s chinuch will be his responsibility,” she said. “By assisting in this area, you are a direct shliach of the Rebbe.”
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch and founder of MyShliach, encouraged the volunteers to write in to the Rebbe and report on the work they do with their young shluchos. “The Rebbe wants to hear our good news,” he said.
At the close of the program, each girl was given an umbrella featuring the MyShliAch logo. The gift, while definitely weather-appropriate, held deeper meaning for Mushky.
“That’s what our job really is,” she said. “Providing a Chassidishe refuge for our young Shluchos.”