Mitzvot from the Heart: Isabelle Essman

Isabelle Essman

Isabelle Essman

Congregation Shaare Emeth

Isabelle understands having a family member in the hospital can be stressful and time consuming. She also knows how comforting friends and family can be when times are tough and you need a hug.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

“But the people HavenHouse serves are far from home, and they don’t have those friends nearby to help them through scary times,” she said. “That’s the best part about HavenHouse: they provide you with the comforts you need when home is far away. Donating supplies to these people who come from around the country and the world made me feel like I was being one of the friends they needed to keep them going.”

Daughter of Sharyn Essman of Town & Country, Izzy raised money and collected supplies for HavenHouse, which offers the comforts of home and community support to families traveling to St. Louis for medical care. Izzy chose HavenHouse as her mitzvah project, collecting personal care items such as soap and shampoo along with books for the residents. She also made a dozen fleece blankets that were put into the welcome packages for new HavenHouse guests.

In addition, Izzy and her mother designed and made 28 vases that were used as the centerpieces at her party, all with the initial “I” for Izzy. A note was included in each invitation explaining that the vases and flowers would be for sale at the end of the party for a minimum of $18. About $1,000 was raised and donated to HavenHouse.

A student at MICDS, Izzy said, “The vases were definitely my favorite part of the project. Every week there would be a new one added to our collection, and we were so excited to see how they would look at my party. (They did, by the way, turn out looking spectacular.) The blankets were also fun to make. I worked them down to a science, and the idea that something so simple could bring so much comfort to someone was thrilling.”