When Hadassah Austria President Susi Shaked decided to donate a Cartier watch that she no longer wore for auction and give the proceeds to the Hadassah Medical Center, it occurred to her shortly thereafter that she might also be able to donate for auction some works of art that her husband’s patients had created a number of years ago.

As a young doctor, Psychoanalyst Joseph Shaked had worked in a mental institution with patients who had been isolated from society for decades. In an effort to help these people, he and his colleagues motivated them to talk and to paint. In time, some of these patients became well- known artists. Periodically, Josef would receive works of art from them, which he kept in a folder. Susi took two of them to a local auction house and was told that buyers were interested in this sort of art. The paintings sold for over $3,500!

Bolstered by this success, Susi is now approaching another auction house–this time with jewelry a friend brought to her that had belonged to her mother. Susi is also considering the rare books she has at home that have been signed by their authors.

“So, slowly, I clear my life of superfluous belongings that can bring money now to Hadassah,” Susi says. “All of us,” she notes, “have things at home which we are better off to get rid of now for a good cause.”

As for her watch–a gift from her parents from the Art Deco period–it was sold for 1,000 euros. The money was targeted for equipment at the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower at the Hadassah Medical Center.