We help new mothers and babies. We try to find out what exactly each family is missing, for example; baby clothes, blankets, diapers, baby food, as well as cribs, high chairs, push chairs, etc. Each family is a whole project by itself; some need more, some less. We also send each new mother a helper to clean once a week thoroughly the house for a total of 6 hours (10 hours in the case of caesarean) and another helper to fold laundry and do light housework. We also try to send a babysitter if the mother has other small children.
This is a very important part of helping the family to 'get on their feet' again. It gives the mother a very strong feeling of emotional support as well as physical, which as we know is very important after having a baby, especially as a lot of the families are new immigrants and have no close help around.
Also the government used to give a sum of money to each family when a baby is born; this grant has now been considerably cut along with family allowance, due to the political situation in Israel. As you can imagine, this, accompanied with very high inflation and low wages, is not easy for anybody, especially in a place like Safed where opportunities are scarce.
Secondly we have a small non-profit pharmacy in our apartment which gives basic medicines to people who have no opportunity to pay bus fares to get into town to buy prescriptions. They either pay us, or we give them credit; in particular cases we give them free of charge. We would like to expand this project and get a bigger selection of medicines and also humidifier and vaporizer machines to give on loan. In our community, which consists of 9 high rises and about 800 families, this is a big help to everyone. The majority of people here do not have a car.
We are also involved in giving food hampers weekly to 10 families. We collect food door to door and pass it on to the needy once a week. This project could seriously do with money to buy things that people do not donate, for example chicken, fish, diapers etc. We would also like to expand to many more needy families.
And last but not least we work with second-hand clothes to give to the families.
I would like to tell you a couple of heartbreaking but true stories, I have changed the names of the people concerned to protect their privacy.....
Faige is a young one-parent mother of 4 beautiful children ranging in age from 6 years to a new born baby. She was forced to leave her ex-husband having suffered physical abuse most of her 8 years of marriage. He was unwilling to give up his lifestyle of drugs and drink, and bares no responsibility for his 4 children. She gets absolutely no support from him either emotionally or financially. Her parents are not in a position to help in any way, and the government help is minimal and not enough to live on. We were privaleged in being able to help her after her last baby girl was born. We sent her clothes for the baby, domestic help once a week, a babysitter to help with her young children and also a weekly food hamper. I truly believe that with your help we lifted a little weight off of this young woman's shoulders and we would like to thank you and continue helping her with your generous donations.
Yossi has been in a wheel-chair since the age of 2. His first wife died of cancer when his 3 children were very small. He remarried his care-giver who grew up the children as her own. The youngest child is now 16. His wife has just been diagnosed as having cancer herself and history is threatening to repeat itself for Yossi. They travel on a regular basis to Jerusalem for treatment and do not have the means to pay the travel and medical expences. We are trying to help them as much as possible.
These are just two of the many sad stories and situations that people are in. May God give us the merit to be able to help them.
You can be absolutely confident that any donation which you specify to be given to Hannah-Safed will be used to help with the above, and if you would like any additional information you can contact me directly via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A young woman,with four children, the youngest of whom is a newborn, is finally able to leave her drug-addicted husband. Her social worker gets her a government-subsidized apartment, for 80 shekels a month ($20) instead of the 1200 shekels she pays for a similar private apartment (which she cannot afford--she is in debt to everyone and every helping fund, and is about to be evicted). The catch--she has to come up with 1400 shekels as a security deposit, and moving expenses, Where is she going to get $500? That is where you come in--Lamed Vuvnik quickly wrote a check, and turned this woman's life around!
Often it is the smallest of things that make a difference in someone's life. We've discovered that many new Mom's are unable to afford strollers, and are therefore limited in their mobility with their children. Tzfat is an easy walking town, but if you are carrying a child or two, you cannot also carry groceries. We just purchased 5 strollers with Lamed Vuvnik money, and turned around the lives of five families. Basically any stroller is greatly appreciated here by our needy families, but the one that I think is the best choice is 'Doctor Baby' - Model H272. or H236. The latter is the kind that I just bought, it seems to be very practical, as it is very light weight and suitable for a new baby as well as a stroller for an older kid afterwards. Any kind of the 'Doctor Baby' range would be great. (assuming that they sell them in The States). If not this then something of the same style - lightweight, practical, and suitable from birth to 2 years. I have friends in the Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem area where it would be possible to leave the item and we will pick it up if the visitor is not coming to the Safed area. If people would be willing to bring over such a gift that would be great.
We've also discovered that many young families don't have the money to purchase basic over the counter medications, such as Tylenol and cough syrup, and their young children are suffering as a result. We therefore started running a "gemach" (loan fund) of the most common pharmecuticals kids need. Contributions from visitors are always welcome! We also need vaporizers to loan out, disposable diapers, and pacifiers.