As I sat at a wedding I went to last week I realized that most of the stories I write about Sderot tell about the hardship and constant threat of rocket attacks; and I thought I don’t want to mislead you.

Yes, life is hard here in Sderot, and yes, there is a constant threat of a rocket attack; just two days ago we had one but life goes on here. We are a strong and resilient people.

You can still find us at any of the city parks with our kids, you will find us at outdoor coffee and shwarma shops and you will find us walking or jogging in the cool of the evening.

On Sundays and Tuesday you will find us at the outdoor farmers market (The Shuk).

Young and old lovers alike are still getting married, Bar- and Bat-Mitzvah’s are happening just about every week and kids have started a new school year, whether or not they like it, this month.

I have often said that Sderot is a wonderful place to live. It has all the small town qualities one could ask for; the only negative thing is that our neighbors in Gaza aren’t very nice! I made Aliyah from Dunsmuir, California, a small town, smaller than Sderot but Sderot has every bit as much charm.

Yes, the threat is with us every day, every hour of every day, and yes, we still have 437 families on our list of people we help each week, and yes unemployment is high, and yes our list of those we help is growing each month, BUT we have not given up, nor have we rolled over and died. We may still have our anxious moments and loud noises may startle us but we are not down and out for the count.

When you need diapers because you can’t afford them where do you go? When you need help paying a utility bill or rent whom do you call? When you need a prescription filled but can’t afford it where can you go to for help? When you need help feeding your family where can you turn?

Because of your love and generosity Hope For Sderot has been here to help, bringing hope and help; help to people you have never met and a joy and security to them to know that there are people out there that truly, truly care about us and that brings Hope.

For the past five years we have laughed and cried with our brothers and sisters, gone to weddings and joyous occasions and have made our fair share of trips to the cemetery as well with them.

Through it all you, our supporters have never been forgotten, have never been taken for granted, and you should be thanked for every smile, every full tummy and every offering of thanks to YAH; So from me to you, from us to you THANK YOU; thank you for your love and support.