Our trips to Israel are always jam-packed with meetings and exciting opportunities for the Good People Fund to invest the tzedakah dollars our donors entrust to us.
This latest trip several weeks ago was no different. In the very last hours we spent in Israel we had our traditional sit-down with Phyllis Heimowitz, her daughter Tamar Heimowitz-Richter and Rina Kahan, all deeply involved in the Amuta for the Support of Girlfriends of Fallen IDF Soldiers. Meeting with them always reminds us of the tragic days following the start of the second terror war in 2000. The years that followed saw the Amuta grow as more and more soldiers lost their lives in the ongoing war.
It is 12 years later and much has changed. The Amuta still provides therapy and other support services to these girlfriends and fiancÃ©es, but today the loss of their soldier is more likely from illness, an accident or even suicide (sadly, a not uncommon occurrence) while on active duty. As we discussed the most recent participants to join the current support group, Phyllis shared the story of A., a sweet, gentle young woman whose beloved died tragically from cancer several months back. As is the case with all of these women, A. was inconsolable – believing that life could not and would not go on.
Phyllis told us a bit about A.’s background and that she was a sweet and very intelligent young woman whose army release stated that she was "exceptional and responsible". More than anything else, A. would love to attend college and become a lawyer. She has the capabilities in every way but one…her family is profoundly poor; her father an invalid and there are just no funds available to make school possible. In fact, in order to even seek scholarship funding the school requires a registration fee which A. is unable to pay.
When we heard the amount needed to pay this fee we knew donors who would agree that this was a great opportunity and arranged to cover the cost. Phyllis was thrilled and reported that A. could not help but cry when she heard the news.
A relatively small investment for the Good People Fund to make, but one which may pay huge dividends in the end…exactly what we love to do.