Poverty, deprivation, and hunger play an integral role in the lives of many people in Israel. Our team at Vision for Israel cares for the food security of hundreds of poor people, and over the past few months, we have distributed hundreds of food baskets--as well as financial vouchers for fresh food, toiletries, and clothing. The distributions were given to families in need in Jerusalem and the areas, Modiin and Rishon Letzion. We were delighted to see the faces of these precious people.
This year, summer vacation carries with it a special meaning for the children of Israel. After having endured so much—a global pandemic followed closely by a war with Gaza—tensions and anxiety have been high. That’s why this year we are distributing 2,500 school packs to children going into the primary grades. We were so thrilled to get the schoolbags into the hands of those kids who are excited to receive them.
Since 1999, Vision for Israel has helped to provide for the needs of 275,000 children throughout Israel. Each year, we improve the way we distribute, and the quality of the school bags. Even despite Coronavirus, we found creative ways to reach out to the children. We are thrilled to have so many faithful volunteers coming regularly to help us with the packing of all the goodies that fill these children’s bags.
Holocaust survivors, who survived the horrors and came to Israel to find a home and rest, are haunted by the difficult memories, and most of them suffer from severe loneliness, financial distress, and health problems. We distributed about 80 food baskets to Holocaust survivors from Rishon Lezion. The survivors rejoiced at receiving the baskets which are rich in nutritious and healthy ingredients.
We have partnered with the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust survivors, and have run an initiative to fund emergency button services in the homes of Holocaust survivors. So far, we’ve enabled about 800 Holocaust survivors to call immediately for help (doctor or ambulance) in any case of distress—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—whether living alone in their homes or in sheltered housing.
We receive so much joy by being able to bless this family that came out of the tragedy and is doing all they can to overcome the terror attack they faced years ago. We have been supporting the family financially for several years and recently provided them with 6 months of supplies for their twin babies—including baby formula, diapers, clothes, and toiletries. VFI also donated appliances and other household items.
Our new donated ambulance was recently released from customs, and Barry went down to the bonded warehouse facility with MDA and the UK director for a short dedication ceremony. This new ambulance is going to serve the city of Modiin, in the area where the Millennium Center is located.
All of the VFI donated emergency vehicles have now responded to over 30,000 calls and so many of them life-saving.
For those living in Israel, rocket attacks from Gaza are not uncommon—but the scale, severity, and range of targets involved in the latest war with Gaza has truly been unprecedented. Once a siren is heard, there are only 15-45 seconds to enter a protected area. We were urgently asked to help and provide lifesaving equipment designed for these emergencies, to provide public protection; mobile shelters, emergency locking systems, and bomb blast doors. We are currently in the process of funding the purchase of mobile shelter units and are continuing to raise funds for this important project.
Recently we got to know the Shavo family. The father, is 60 years old today. He can’t work due to his medical condition. In 1996 he was ambushed by radical terrorists and they stoned him. In self-defense, he responded by shooting at the ground to drive them away and one of the terrorists claimed that he got injured. This led to over 15 years of legal battles resulting in financial distress. In 2002 he lost his wife and three of their children in a separate terror attack. Thankfully he and four of his children survived. Recently we appealed to all of you to help the family. Some of you, our dear friends, have responded and he has now paid his debt fully. Thank you.