Traveling these days is full of challenges. Two staff members and I recently returned from an 8-day visit to Israel, where we toured the charities we support in the Holy Land. We also received four COVID tests along the way: one before departure, another upon arrival in Tel Aviv, yet another within 72 hours of leaving Israel, and finally, a random airport test for two of us upon landing home after a 12-hour transatlantic flight. Thankfully, all tests were negative even though we had been all over Israel, staying in various hotels, meeting many people, etc.
This latest project tour, our first in more than two years because of the pandemic, was timely for several reasons, not least of which was the opportunity to assess current needs in light of the damage done to the Israeli economy, especially the tourism and hospitality sectors. While many are suffering hardships caused by a prolonged pandemic with no end in sight, charity officials and staff shared over and over again how C4i’s support has enabled them to continue helping the less fortunate.
Take, for example, Meir Panim’s facility in Dimona, located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. C4i has funded the annual cost of meals for this facility for several years now; however, we discovered that, because the facility is not on local transit routes, some seniors, including Holocaust survivors, can’t take advantage of the facility’s meals and social programs. We hope to meet this need by providing a golf-cart type vehicle that will allow people to be brought to the facility or receive meals delivered to their homes.
Tents of Mercy in Haifa is one of two new charities C4i added this year. The staff shared how an old vehicle, in constant need of repair, is hampering their efforts to deliver essentials to those in need in the greater Haifa area, a northern coastal city with a mixed Arab-Jewish population and many new immigrants. Thanks to your consistent and generous support, we hope to transfer the funds for a replacement van early in 2022.
We also had the opportunity to visit Adi Negev – Nahalat Eran (formerly Aleh), a facility for special children and young adults with learning disabilities established by Major General (Res) Doron Almog when he couldn’t find adequate care for his son, Eran. Doron has devoted the rest of his life to caring for those who can’t care for themselves. His state-of-the-art desert facility, in Ofakim, is a model of what is possible when someone lovingly cares about others with special needs.
For many years now, C4i has provided the necessary funds for the individual diets and nutrition required by children in Adi Negev-Nahalat Eran’s high dependency unit; because most can’t swallow, these children receive food via gastro tubes in their abdomens. Doron was there to meet us and express his appreciation for our steadily increasing financial support over the many years we have supported his efforts. Here are excerpts from a letter we received from him upon our return home:
Dear John, Heather, and Jennifer:
I want to deeply thank you for your visit today and your ongoing support year after year for our beloved disabled children and residents.
ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran with the support of you - C4i - is expanding and growing rapidly. We see the new rehabilitation hospital sprouting up before our eyes and anticipate the opening, scheduled for this year. Our research center has caught the attention of doctors and academics throughout the world and many have shown a keen interest in our research and its efficient progress…
Nearly a year ago we marked the 14 anniversary of the passing of our dear beloved son Eran. Nothing at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran would have come to be if not for him. His spirit continues to be felt throughout the entire village, encouraging us to move forward for the benefit of those like him, the most fragile members of our society.
Thank you again for your kindness John, Heather & Jennifer. With your kind help, we will keep moving forward, making the world a better place. We are waiting for you here in Israel, and I can’t wait to tour you at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran next year.
I urge you to watch Doron’s testimony of how his son, Eran, changed his life – and continues changing the world. There is no more eloquent way to conclude this last letter update for 2021 other than to say that your generosity is now part of this beautiful story.