United Hatzalah, the volunteer-based emergency medical services organization based in Israel with a standing presence across the U.S., announced today that it has received a generous $1 million donation from Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Meta and Founder of Lean In and Option B, and her fiancé Tom Bernthal, founder and former CEO of Kelton Global. Funds from the donation will directly benefit United Hatzalah’s rescue efforts in Ukraine and provide medical and psychological treatment as well as humanitarian aid for refugees.

Sheryl Sandberg stands next to United Hatzalah women EMTs during a visit to the organizations headquarters in Jerusalem 1 1024x684 1
Sheryl Sandberg stands next to United Hatzalah women EMTs during a visit to the organization’s headquarters in Jerusalem

With more than 6,200 volunteers, United Hatzalah offers 24/7 support to those in need. Since its inception, the organization’s standing goal has been to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies within three minutes and provide patients with expert emergency medical care. Since the conflict started in Ukraine, United Hatzalah volunteers have been on the ground providing medical care, food, transportation, and more. To date, the team has served tens of thousands of meals, set up advanced field hospitals in targeted areas, provided much-needed medical care inside refugee centers, and organized countless flights for refugees to flee to Israel. The organization is also evacuating vulnerable people from inside Ukraine by ambulance, including Holocaust Survivors and newborn babies.

“What is happening right now in Ukraine is heartbreaking,” said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta and founder of Lean In and Option B. “I am proud of the work United Hatzalah of Israel is doing to provide emergency medical care to refugees on the Moldovan border. It is critical that organizations and individuals step up to support the Ukrainian people.”

“The need for humanitarian assistance has never been more dire, and I am extremely proud of what our volunteers have accomplished overseas,” said Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah. “We are doing our part in providing necessary assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees who have made their way into Moldova and other countries, and funds from this donation will continue to make those efforts possible. We couldn’t be more grateful to the Sandberg family and all they have done.”

As of this week, the organization has brought more than 2,000 refugees from Romania, Moldova, and Austria to Israel. Each flight includes between 100 to 160 refugees onboard and is fully staffed by United Hatzalah medical personnel to provide humanitarian aid and medical care, even in mid-flight when necessary.

“United Hatzalah is a force for good in the world,” said Danielle Elyse David, Development Director of United Hatzalah. “We are immensely grateful to Sheryl, her fiancé Tom, and her parents Adele and Joel for their tremendous support which allows our medics to drop everything and rush in to help others and save as many people as they can.”

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