What makes someone a hero? Must it be jumping into flood waters or an inferno to save lives? Or is it giving hope and setting an example for others by doing what many consider “the impossible” for someone in your condition?
Meir Efraim Turner is one such hero. Born with CP, unable to walk or talk, he has not let his condition keep him down. He has become a person who cares deeply about others, and uses his “different abilities” to accomplish much for people in need. With his warm, bright smile and happy disposition, he is well known and fondly remembered by everyone he meets.
Meir volunteers for CHESED 24/7, a Jewish organization dedicated to helping those with various medical and “special” needs. For the past six years, by collecting in the synagogue after prayers every day, he has raised well over $1000.00 per year to help support the CHESED 24/7 Kosher Hospitality Rooms in over a dozen hospitals. These rooms are an oasis in many hospitals which give families a place to find Kosher food, religious necessities, reading material, and a welcoming place to rest from their worries.
Meir also runs the local CHESED 24/7 “Medicine Chest” in our area, a free service which supplies doses of over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and Tylenol, antacids, laxatives, decongestants, Benedryl, wound care, and other common supplies at night and during the Jewish Sabbath and holidays when the local stores are closed. Hundreds of people have knocked on our door at all hours and have found relief through him.
And, most importantly, Meir has been the catalyst for our own accomplishment in the arena of special needs-the organization that we run, Beineinu (www.Beineinu.org), which supplies information and support to other families and professionals dealing with special needs, in particular Jewish families, whose religious needs affect every aspect of their daily lives. The drive to reach out to help others in need that is so ingrained in Meir’s personality gave us the push to use our knowledge to assist others, to help those in need, just as he does.
Yes, Meir is a hero in every sense of the word. He is an example for all those who are “differently abled” and their families. He taught us that no matter what your situation in life, you are still able to use your time and abilities to help others.