Welcome to quite a different blog series from us at Truevo. Most often, we’re covering topics like choosing the ideal ecommerce platform or policy documents. Not today. You may have seen it online somewhere, but in case you haven’t, our whole company is involved in a corporate social responsibility initiative called Make a Difference. You can read more about what we’re up to here. This post is an amplification of just one of those stories collected from about 100 Truevo employees. Please read on to find out more about why Maya Liepaz, the Head of our Growth-Marketing & Brand team, decided to donate to Meir-Panim.
Over to you, Maya.
Meet Joseph and Toya, my grandparents. They both passed away a few years ago but during their life they put their heart into every moment because it wasn’t always an option for them in their late teens: They were holocaust survivors. They met at the most horrific concentration camp of them all – Auschwitz.
There, they experienced the worst side of humanity, lost their big loving families and yet, when liberated, were both stronger, and – amazingly – kinder than ever. After the war ended, they found each other again and moved to Israel and built a beautiful life, but always had that dreadful number tattooed on their arm as a reminder. There are not many holocaust survivors left, and some of them are suffering extreme poverty and don’t have families to support them. That’s why Meir-Panim is my cause of choice to support.
My grandparents’ impact on me is the most significant force in my life. This donation to their memory is far from enough to express their spirit or the need to support and remember the last brave survivors who struggle yet again.
What do you think was the source of your grandparents’ strength and resolve in rebuilding their lives after being in Auschwitz?
My grandmother was the most positive person I have ever met. This must have helped her find extra strength. Together with some friends, they vowed to remove the years of the war from their age and look at the world as if it never happened. This was obviously not really possible. But it makes a great story.
I think that for my grandfather, the story would have been different; he had remarkable skills coming from a family of watchmakers and could fix anything. He generally got treated better than the rest due to his outstanding skills, he often got a bit more food and he would share it with my grandmother. I’m sure that the love for my grandmother – knowing they have each other – kept him alive and strong.
What was a surprising thing about your grandparents that you remember?
My grandfather grew up with the late Pope John Paul II being his friend as a young kid, the pope used to do my grandfather’s homework for him as my grandfather was a bit of a wild child. They met again many years later in Israel when the pope was visiting. How cool is that?
When did you learn about the holocaust and the experiences of your grandparents?
It was something I grew up knowing and hearing about from the youngest age. As I matured and was able to handle the more harrowing stories, we’d sit at their dining room table for hours and talk about what they had gone through and seen. I wish I wrote them all down back then. Steven Spielberg sent a crew to my grandparents’ house to have their story documented, but only my grandfather shared. We have the recordings somewhere, hours of footage. It’s all also in the Holocaust Museum in the US. I should really watch it again soon — oh, how I miss that great man.
How do you hope to see Meir-Panim and other aid organisations continue making an impact?
Many holocaust survivors do not have families to support them, some of them couldn’t save for old age for different reasons and need help with basic things such as warm clothes for cold winter days or simply food. Covid-life has made this time even harder and lonelier for them. One could donate goods, time or money to help the last few survivors have some joyful moments and show them we care.
If you’d like to support this cause, here’s the link.
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