The following guest post was contributed by Naomi Feinmesser.
Israel is at war, and over the last few weeks, I have received requests from across the globe from friends, family, friends of friends and friends of family, asking me if I know any ways that they can help Israel in her time of need. There are so many ways to help, and particularly for those not in Israel and who are therefore not able to send physical items through local collections, here are some reputable websites through which you can donate:
- Underwear Campaign
Care packages for soldiers, sending underwear and other essentials. Also using stores in the South to support their businesses in this difficult time.
- Ben Goldstein PayPal ID: Matolman1@yahoo.com
Ben is going regularly to the soldiers, delivering whatever they request. High up on the list is usually deodorant, shaving equipment, underwear and cold drinks. At the moment he is not a registered charity, but if you look him up on Facebook you can see what he is doing. He has supplied to a number of bases, including the base where one of my neighbors is serving.
- One Israel Fund
One Israel Fund is providing security and medical equipment to Southern communities. They have helped prevent terrorist attacks and infiltrations, some of which you may have read about over the last few weeks.
- Supplies for IDF
Care packages of new towels, socks, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpastes, etc. being sent to our troops on the front lines.
- Yashar Lachayal
A well-known soldier organization, providing soldiers with needed equipment as is requested.
- Lone Soldier Center
The Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center is providing help specifically to lone soldiers. Sadly we lost 2 lone soldiers in Gaza yesterday.
- United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah is looking to better equip their volunteers who are serving the South. The communities they serve and live in are being besieged by missiles, and the volunteers are doing everything they can to keep people safe, but they don’t have the equipment they need to protect their own lives. The request from these volunteer coordinators is to send an additional 100 bulletproof vests and helmets to volunteers to be able to safely respond to emergency calls without putting themselves at grave risk.
- Summer Vacation Project
Every Child Deserves a Summer Vacation campaign, to get kids under constant rocket fire out of the South and away for a day on a special outing.
- One Family retreats
Another organization getting families out of the South, and also providing support to victims of terror.
- Hotline for families with disabilities
Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization, is running a hotline to provide emotional support and suggest practical solutions to people with a disability and their families.
- Support for families of soldiers. Paypal ID: email@example.com
Life under rocket fire is hard enough, and my good friend Elana is organizing help for families where the husband is on reserve duty, be it a takeaway dinner or cleaning help, and this is really appreciated by the families. She is also sending pizza to bases in need of a pick-me-up.
- Eishet Chayal
Eishet Chayal jumped right in to supporting the army wives when Operation Protective Edge began calling up 30,000 soldiers. Eishet Chayal (a meaningful play on words for the Hebrew ‘soldier’) offers the wives and children left back home services such as take-out meals, babysitting and cleaning help. For more information Rachel Reena Gold Feinstein firstname.lastname@example.org or call in USA 917-254-3025.
- Shmira Project
Sign up to do Guard Duty for our soldiers. Whilst they are serving in the field, each of us can sign up to receive the name of a soldier and commit to do good deeds, give charity or whatever takes your fancy in order to spiritually protect our people out there.
- Pray for wounded Israeli soldiers
- Read Tehillim (Psalms)
An amazing website where you can read the chapter of Tehillim that is next to be read, and as a People we can complete the book of Tehillim multiple times. At the time of writing this, the book has been completed 925 times!!
- Pray in general!
There have been suggestions to recite particularly Psalms numbers 20, 83, 91, 121,130, 144.
- A link to the Prayer for the IDF, in English and in Hebrew.
- Send a picture or a thank you card to soldiers serving on the field. They really appreciate them and they are great for morale!
- Help fight the social media war. Israel has long suffered from attacks in media and online. Stay accurately informed by following reputable people on Facebook and Twitter, such as StandWithUs, The Muqata, Alarm Darom, Lahav Harkov, Israel News Feed, Michael Dickson, IDF Spokesperson, Avi Mayer, Ofir Gendelman and Peter Lerner. Be careful. Only post links and news items from reputable sites. Don’t spread information that has not been confirmed by Israel.
- Honest Reporting
Don’t let inaccurate reporting go unreported. Write to your local members of government, and write to the press to bring media bias to task.
- If anyone has a holiday home that they would be willing to open up to residents of the South, please contact email@example.com
Please note: Before you send food or pizza to places, check if it is needed or even wanted. I have been in touch with a number of bases that are overflowing with unwanted toiletries and junk food. Some bases, on the other hand, are far out and would really appreciate some decent food and some cans of deodorant! If you are sending food, please don’t send fresh goods that spoil, or chocolate that melts. High on the food request list are energy bars, dried fruit and black coffee, but a lot of soldiers would prefer fresh underwear, socks, towels, undershirts (black or olive colored), toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, wipes and mosquito repellent.
Thank you, and may all of our soldiers come home to us speedily, safely, and having completed their mission.