Gut Mo’ed. Thank you so much for the great Mitzvah of Dinonline Ask The Rabbi, and your kindness and help to all of us and for answering our Shailos.
There is an organization that uses entertainment, clowns, singing, story telling, etc to go into hospitals and homes to bring smiles and happiness to sick children and adults to help them to heal, a truly wonderful chesed and Mitzvah that they are doing. They also organize events, outings, etc. I ask if donating to this organization would be permissible using Maaser, or should the donation be Tzedakah that is separate from Maaser.
Also, are the volunteers and staff fulfilling the Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim?
Thank you Rabbi so much for your kindness
You can donate from maaser money for bikur cholim, since this money is being used for people in their time of need.
The people that are cheering up the sick people are surely fulfilling the mitzvah of bikur cholim directly, because they are helping the sick person with his needs, and one of those needs is to be happy, cheerful, and positive. As a side point, those coming to the sick person to cheer them up should daven for them, because davening for the sick person is an important part of the mitzva, and according to some poskim one did not fulfill the mitzvah unless they davened for them. Therefore while you are there you should say, “H-shem should send you a refuah shleima, together with all the sick people”, or even to wish him a refuah shleima”.
Y:D 335-4, Yosef Ometz, Halichos Shlomo Tefilah 8 ftnt 63.