Need in a Small Amish Community

photo by George Harven, via

Many of us have connections to the Amish in some way, or are very interested in their way of life and faith. Amish do not subscribe to medical insurance, trusting God and the church to cover any extraordinary medical expenses. Small Amish communities often have to appeal to the larger church and to friends outside Amish life to help when these are more than can be afforded in their local church. Erik Wesner of Amish America brought up this issue:

“One-year-old Amos Hertzler cannot eat regular food, because he was born with esophageal atresia–meaning his esophagus does not connect with his stomach. He is fed every four hours by a feeding tube in his abdomen.

The Hertzlers’ community, however, seems to be not the Conewango Valley people, but a much smaller Cattaraugus County group nearby, of a single church district.  By the reporter’s description, they too seem to be quite conservative, though.  In the story, they say they’ve never held a benefit auction before.

An extensive news story in a major state paper is also a bit more coverage than you’d get for your typical benefit auction.  The willingness on the part of Amos’ parents to go to media probably indicates the direness of the situation.  ”It’s not an emergency, but it’s the next thing to it”, said Amos’ uncle.”

The community is holding a benefit auction, and Amish and non-Amish have contributed. The low estimate for this child’s medical needs is $250,000. It will probably amount to more.

If you wish to contribute, Erik has also furnished this information:

Hertzler Hospital Fund at Cattaraugus County Bank
P.O. Box 227
Little Valley, NY 14755.

For a news story on this situation:

Erik’s blog is at: