Letter: An incredible asset for Lakewood

Dear Lakewood Community, I am not one to put pen to paper and in all my 60 years I have never yet sent a letter in for publication. Yet this past Pesach I came to witness one of this community’s most incredible assets. I am deeply humbled and inspired and, as such, I feel the desire to share with you the remarkable work of the LCSW, Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch.

What did I witness, you ask? I was lucky to spend Pesach with my children and grandchildren in Lakewood. Moments after the women lit the candles and the men prepared to leave to shul, my grandchildren went upstairs and smelled smoke. Immediately, my daughter called the Fire Department and we all exited the house. After a thorough check of the house, the firefighters informed us that they did not notice any odor and the house is safe. They told us not to hesitate to call them back if we smell smoke again. The firefighters then checked the smoke detectors and noticed that two of them were not working well.

At that point, it was already Shabbos and Yom Tov and we could no longer purchase new ones. The firefighters left and we were stuck in a panic and quandary! My eleven-year-old grandson remembered that the LCSW patrols their block. We opened up the blinds and kept watch on the street. Lo and behold, with thanks to Hashem, it was not too long before a LCSW patrol car came down the block. The volunteer graciously came inside the house, heard our plight, went to purchase two new smoke detectors and installed them for us! My family was able to sleep calmly that night and the rest of Yom Tov. How INCREDIBLE!!

At Shul the next morning, we told the other daveners of the extraordinary kindness of the LCSW and additional stories came pouring forth…I thought I was the lucky one and the only recipient of this assistance!!! Never did I think so many others also experienced first-hand magic from the LCSW!

One davener spoke of the time when his elderly grandmother, diagnosed with dementia, went missing on Shavous and the LCSW set up a search team. Miraculously, she was found unscathed and the family was able to experience true Simchas Yom Tov.

Another mentioned the time when his electricity blew and his wife was in the middle of cooking for their son’s Aufruf. The LCSW stepped in and provided the family with a generator so the cooking could resume and the thousands of dollars on food wouldn’t go to waste. This family is forever grateful to LCSW for saving the auspicious day!

A bachur told us that one Shabbos he was walking home from his friend’s house down the block and he saw a young girl with medical challenges walking with her parents who were struggling to get her home. At that moment, LCSW drove by and offered the parents to drive their daughter home. The girl’s parents were thrilled with the offer and calmness was restored to that family.

After Pesach, I called the LCSW hotline to offer thanks to the LCSW crew and I asked the dispatcher what the real mission of the LCSW is. And the dispatcher explained…

For eight days and nights, while we celebrated Pesach with our loved ones, 25 devoted local citizens left the comfort of their homes and volunteered to protect our community. The LCSW was a set of eyes and ears for us, using caution, vigilance and utmost dedication to ensure that the community was safe and secure. It is truly incredible that there are honorable folks who are willing to brave the cold and put personal duties aside and put in tremendous effort to care for us!

At a time when the world is filled with so much fear, uncertainty, danger, and oppression we must show endless gratitude to the LCSW for serving as unique messengers from Hashem providing the community with unparalleled safeguarding and preservation.

With tremendous thanks,

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