For more than a decade, Rabbi Shmuel Tiechtel and his wife Chana have have been taking care of Arizona State University students who are feeling under the weather. They do that by bringing them homemade matzo ball chicken soup. “It’s warm, it’s homey, it makes you feel better. And it’s not just the chicken soup, it’s the fact that somebody thought to come and give it to you – the fact that someone cares. I think chicken soup shows caring with love,” Tiechtel said.
The couple run Chabad House, a Jewish student centre near the campus started their soup program small with just a couple familiar students being brought soup to make them feel better when they were sick. Now they offer it to any student, if an order is placed, which can be done by the students or by the parents at home. They accept orders over the phone or through an online portal. This gives the parents who might be miles away a chance to look after their kids when they are not feeling well; after a fashion.
Marlene Widawer, who lives near Los Angeles, ordered a bowl for her daughter Hannah when she got sick last year. “It’s kind of scary when you think about your kid, you can’t get to your kid…but just to have this one small thing that Chabad can do for the kids, it gives me as a mom, living all these miles away, some peace of mind,” Widawer said. Marlene’s daughter, Hannah, said it “immediately” cured her. “It’s really a beautiful thing that when I’m so far from home, somebody is still here to make me chicken soup and to give it to me like my mom did,” she said. Hannah is now the president of the Chabad board and stores extra chicken soup in her own freezer to deliver to other students in need.
It is a program which has touched the hearts and stomachs of many of the students of Arizona State and the Rabbi hopes that these acts of kindness will spread and continue to be paid forward. It builds a hope for a better world built through kindness and good. It is your Good News Story of the Day and you can read all about it and watch a video here.
Image and Story from CBS.