Twenty-three days ago, the unimaginable happened in Sderot. The security fence was breeched. Innocent men, woman, children, babies and the elderly were slaughtered in cold blood. Hamas terrorists roamed the streets of Sderot and shot and killed everyone they saw. That wasn’t enough. They broke into houses, and at point blank range killed husbands in front of their wives and children, killed children in front of their parents and kidnapped others as their loved ones looked on in horror.
Twenty-three days later, many residents of Sderot have fled the city for fear of their lives; taking little or nothing with them. Some went to hotels on their own money, others waited for the city to put in place help for them to leave and some have chosen to stay in Sderot. My wife and I fall into the group of those who have chosen to stay.
The majority of the stores and shops are closed in Sderot, leaving only three markets open a few hours a day; and the pharmacy as well. Public transportation is nonexistent, but if you have a car you can come and go as you please. All gas stations are closed save one, and they only take credit cards.
Life in Sderot has changed forever. At one point in time all we had to worry about were Kassams. But with the breach of the security wall……..well, that adds a whole new level of worry , concern and anxiety.
The residents of Sderot are facing difficulties whether they are staying or leaving. Not being sure if the city will fund the hotel for another week or just for how long funding will last leaves those who are left hanging in uncertainty. There is talk of setting up “tent cities” if the war drags on and funds run out.
Hotels are over crowded with scared people, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Tempers are short and husbands and wives are arguing, children are acting up as they feel their parents’ stress.
Here in Sderot, our windows rattle from artillery fire from the IDF. We still hear “Tseva Adom” and Iron Dome intercepting incoming rockets; as do those who have left Sderot. For me the one big difference is, I am in my own home, sleeping in my own bed, having a kitchen still to go to and my bomb shelter to take cover in.
Just because people left Sderot, they are not exempt from still hearing “Tseva Adom”, but now they don’t have a bomb shelter to run to. They must make their way down a crowded hallway, as hotel rooms empty out, as they all try to make their way to the stair case.
This gives you just a brief look at our lives today. So, what Is Hope For Sderot doing to help?
For The People In Sderot:
We have been making trips to the market buying food for people, trips to the pharmacy for prescriptions for people, supplying hot home cooked meal for those in need of them and making welfare checks and daily calls.
For The Sderot Residents That Fled For Their Lives:
As of today, we have directly assisted over 90 people. They now have the clothing they need, food they need, baby food and diapers they need, medication they need, fuel for their cars and other day to day living expenses.
Teachers from Sderot evacuated after the 7th as well as many of the students. The school teachers have set up classrooms in the hotels and are holding classes the best they can but without supplies. We have on our shelves boxes of school and art supplies which in the coming days we will get to those teachers for them to use.
Simple things like colored pencils, crayons, colored paper, pens, and pencils for kids to draw and occupy their time as they sit in a hotel room, will be heading that way as well. For those who don’t have a makeshift classroom to go to, they need toys and art supplies to help pass their days.
Small kids don’t understand why they can’t go home or where Daddy is. Wives and mothers are left alone in hotel rooms, alone with their kids as daddy has been called to fight a war; none of them knowing if daddy will ever come home or what tomorrow holds.
So when we are able to offer them some of life’s simplest things to help them cope with their new reality, what YOU are saying to them is… “You are not alone”. The people who make these gifts possible are standing with you, you are not alone, and that brings hope, and that is the mission of, and is Hope For Sderot in action.
Granted, we are only on day 24 of this war. How long will it last? That’s a good question. Will we be able to help them later, we pray so. For however long we are victims of Terror, Hope For Sderot will do everything in it’s power to help them through this difficult time.
The day to day help we are giving does not even start to address the needs they will have when they come back home. How long can people go without work and a pay check? All good questions, with no answer right now. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us as we move forward.
For those of you who have chosen to stand with us; what we have done, the people YOU have helped to date is ALL due to your love and support; they feel that and know that. We have said and will always say… “we are just the delivery person.”
For those of you who get our newsletter and have not taken a stand with us yet, we pray you would consider helping us provide whatever help we can give to the residents of Sderot. If you would like to help, all you have to do is click here!
Hope For Sderot