For the past two months we have been working on this project, preparing and planning to bless the Ethiopian community here in Sderot. It started with an offer from The Joshua Fund to sponsor the event if we were willing to do the work. How could you say “no” to an offer like that?
We made arrangements to hold the event at the Ethiopian Community Center, which is also a bomb shelter. They gave us the use of the building for free and that just added to the praise we gave to Ha’Shem.
With the O.K from the Joshua Fund and in appreciation for use of the hall at no charge, we asked if we could repaint the center for them as a “Thank you”. They asked if we could have it done before Passover as they had event scheduled. With paint brushes and rollers in hand we began to paint, and paint, and paint.We finished twelve gallons of paint later and one day before Passover.
Once the center was spruced up, we set out to put together a list of items that would be a blessing to them. The list included dry goods like, sugar, flour, pasta. and canned goods like tuna, corn, tomatoes. Many other items went on the list as well. With the food list completed we moved on to household items; glasses, dish drainers, electric water heaters, towels, bowels, and more!
I was once asked, “What do you give a man that has everything?” … A bag to put to in! Well in this case we gave then a new shopping cart to put it in. On top of all of that we were still able to give everyone a ₪50 (Shekel) gift certificate from one of our local markets.
We invited 130 people from the Ethiopian community, 10 holocaust survivors and 10 single mothers to come and join us on May 19th. To help distribute these gifts, 50 people who had come to Israel for “The Joshua Fund Epicenter Conference Tour” came down to help, to see first hand what we at Hope for Sderot do, and how their support to the Joshua Fund is utilized, and to meet the people they help support.
There were smiles galore, carts full of food and household items, and relationships begun. We were told over and over again by the volunteers that came down that it was the highlight of their trip.
The support that was shown to the people of Sderot, our volunteers and to Hope For Sderot goes way beyond the material and financial support. It was the people that took time out of their trip (and for many of them their first trip to Israel) to come and serve if only for a few hours, that blessed us and reminded us we are not standing alone
Thank you to the Joshua Fund, their supporters and to those volunteers that came to bless us.
“The L-RD bless you and keep you; The L-RD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The L-RD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”