Due to the winter cold and the countrywide lockdown restrictions becoming tightened and more severe, United Hatzalah along with the International Federation of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), took it upon themselves to give out blankets and food stamps to the elderly residents of the southern city Kiryat Gat.
On Friday, volunteers in the Kiryat Gat chapter set out with dozens of blankets and envelopes and delivered them to more than 200 elderly residents in the city, many of whom live on their own. The packages, which were donated by the IFCJ, were delivered by fifteen United Hatzalah volunteers, including Deputy Chapter Head Yanki Weinberg. The volunteers made sure that all of the people they visited were in good health and were properly equipped for the current lockdown.
“The people we visited were so happy when we arrived, not just because they were receiving a gift, but because they were receiving love and affection,” said Weinberg.. “The smile on their faces showed us their appreciation, but behind those smiles are lonely people who are being forced to separate from their families due to COVID-19 restrictions. They appreciate the small things, for example when someone asks them how their day was, and how they were feeling? The knowledge that other people care about them and that they are not completely alone goes a long way. The blankets we delivered warmed them physically, our visits, and the time we spent with them warmed their hearts.”
This project has been undertaken in other cities such as Bet Shemesh, Yokne’am, and Mevaseret, and is a part of United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod project.
“The Ten Kavod project is a year-round project in which volunteer first responders visit the elderly at least once a week and help alleviate their sense of loneliness while providing them with a medical wellness check,” explained Weinberg. “This project is unique and important, and everyone who volunteers as a part of it learns very quickly that even a small good deed could change a person’s day or even life. That is the ethos of United Hatzalah, helping all members of our community no matter who they are or what their background is.”
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