December 31, 2008
Dear Friends of a Package from Home,
Sadly, Israel is again engaged in war with an enemy who indiscriminately shoots Kassam, Katyusha and Grad rockets into the immediate areas surrounding the Gaza Strip endangering the lives of Israeli citizens and disrupting a peaceful life.
To eliminate that threat, once again, Israel’s young men and women are massed on the Gazan border preparing to safeguard the lives of Israelis. Their continued dedication and bravery needs our support.
On Saturday night, December 27, 2008, I received a call from our contact with the Army, Lt.-Col Tzvika Levy. He informed me that there were 1,000 soldiers at the border who needed to receive a "Package from Home".
On Sunday morning, December 28, 2008, we arranged for the delivery of the items which were to be included in the packages: two pair of socks, long underwear, long sleeved flannel undershirt, ski hat, neck warmer, energy bars, chocolate, hard candy, letters of encouragement and support in English, Hebrew, Russian and Amharic and other kinds of creature comforts (shaving cream, soap, lotions, etc) which were brought to Israel by visitors in their suit cases when they came to visit the Country. We contacted our volunteers and we were ready to pack the next day.
On Monday morning all of the items were delivered to my living room and that afternoon at about 1PM our volunteers started to pack. By 4 PM that afternoon they had packed 1,000 packages. The packages were ready for pick-up.
The Army sent 2 trucks to pick them up and by 9PM that evening the packages were delivered to the Gaza border and were distributed to the soldiers. A little later that evening, I received a number of cell phone calls from the soldiers thanking me for our immediate response to their request. Their Commander called and told me how important these packages were in lifting the soldier’s morale.
We were able to respond this quickly because of your support. We had enough funds on hand to cover the cost of this packing and we still have enough funds on hand to cover the cost of the next packing which will take place on Thursday, January 1, 2009. At that time, we will be packing another 700 packages for delivery to the front. These packages will include, in addition to the items listed above, long underwear, a pair of boxer shorts and a package of 80 wet wipes.
We would not have been able to respond this quickly without the support that you have given the soldiers over the last 8 years, but after Thursday’s packing, we will not have enough funds to continue to send more than a few packages at a time. In order to be able to continue to respond to the needs of our solders facing an intractable enemy, we turn to you again and ask for your help.
97% of all funds received are used to pay for the goods that are included in the packages. All of our packers are volunteers. Our packing place is made available to us without charge by Beit Knesset Hanassi, the office is in my home and printing and postal charges are paid by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Our only expense is one part time Project Manager.
For more information about "A Package from Home", please visit our web-site at http://www.apackagefromhome.org/.
Warmest wishes for the New Year
Barbara Bloom Silverman
Founder of a Package from Home