AWIS - a group of English speaking volunteers raising funds for comforts on army, airforce and navy bases throughout the country. We try to show our children - for Israel's soldiers are all our children - that we care.
Unfortunately, due to the current tenuous situation in Israel, (and, sadly, the economic decline) our soldiers are spending more and more time away from their families and
I have to tell you about my visit a few days ago to Base 414, 500 metres from Raffiah and the
Egyptian border. This unit used to be at Tsriffin, where we (AWIS) had donated various
"comforts" for their wellbeing - (and which they had to 'leave behind' when they moved).
For many reasons, but mainly our security, they were moved down south six months ago.
They are doing an AMAZING job and are the 'eyes and ears' of the country on that border. Some of the girls man the computers 24 hours a day and take their 'off-duty' shifts in a badly converted miklat (shelter).
One of our first fundraising priorities is to buy a prefab unit that will house the 8/10 girls. This will cost about $15,000. We also want to provide them with what we take for granted as basic: some new kitchen equipment.
($5,000) They are situated quite a distance from the main base so they have to do their own food preparation. Please do not misunderstand me - THEY do not ask us for anything, WE just cannot see them living like this when they are giving their lives to secure the citizens of Israel and to ensure that we have a future.
We had lunch with the soldiers in their canteen and listened for an hour to their stories......unbelievable.
Their living conditions are pathetic - they have NOTHING there in the way of 'home comforts' but they smile, welcome us, encourage US and get on with their duty of protecting Israel and its citizens.
For their main base we would like to raise enough money to make them a clubhouse, comfortable chairs,curtains, a lamp or two, internet connection for contact with their families, perhaps a snooker table and whatever we can to give them some feeling of home-from-home.
This project would probably also cost in the region of $12-15,000).
For these urgent projects we have no choice but to turn abroad for support.
Their expressions of gratitude for whatever we can do for them make all our efforts worthwhile - and I am seldom able to say my few "Chairperson" words to them without tears!
May God Bless and watch over them all.
I came home with pride and a heavy heart - we just have to help them!!
I send you a photo I took - see how happy they are to receive the TV I nudged someone to donate!. This week we are packing Purim gifts for Chayelim Bodedim (Lone soldiers whose are in Israel without their families -)
they are all our children in every way.