September 16, 2008
Package From Your Home
Barbara Silverman was a wife and mother and grandmother (albeit one with a rich legacy of activism that goes back decades) when terror attacks broke out in Israel in 2000. Frustrated by her strong desire to just do something, she gathered friends and families and started preparing packages that were sent off to soldiers serving on the front-lines. When an email was sent off to some friends and family funds started to arrive and A Package From Home was started. Today, the organziation has sent out more than 140,000 packages and hundreds of Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids have made the program part of their own mitzvah project.
This past summer, A Package From Home was asked about the possibility of providing a weekend away for several soldiers who were seriously wounded during the last war in Lebanon (2006) and were still hospitalized, undergoing difficult and painful treatment. Once a donor was found, Barbara proceeded to make plans and ultimately six soldiers were given permission to leave the hospital. In Barbara’s own words:
… on Thursday evening we arranged a wonderful banquet at one of Jerusalem’s finest meat restaurants. The first of the soldiers to arrive was Amit wearing a brace on his head and upper body. He was accompanied by his father and a young woman aide. As he got to the table I observed his girlfriend putting her hand underneath one of his arms to steady him as he slowly tried to seat himself. He looked up at her with an adoring smile, gently turned her hand over and very tenderly kissed her fingertips. The other soldiers arrived shortly thereafter and a festive meal was had by all. After dessert, each soldier was presented with a special gift of sweets by A Package from Home…and they were taken to the Ramat Rachel Hotel where they were cordially welcomed. The hotel… warmly greeted their guests and graciously supplied a special basket of fresh fruit in each room.
Friday morning after a sumptuous Israeli breakfast, they set out to visit a goat cheese farm at Sataf. Back at the hotel, those who were able took advantage of the swimming pool before they got ready for Shabbat. That evening, they were served a sumptuous meal. Saturday they rested and enjoyed a full board of culinary delights.
Each of the soldiers remarked what a pleasure it was to have a change from the hospital environment and food and expressed their deep gratitude…
Take a look at http://www.apackagefromhome.org/ to learn more about Barbara’s work and perhaps contribute to her efforts. She is doing very special work.