Summer is here and throughout Israel, parents are busy arranging their families' daily schedules for the long Chofesh HaGadol ("the Big Vacation"=summer break). Most children have already begun attending day camps and summer programs, and plans for family trips are being put into motion.
The summer season, which brings with it fun and excitement, generating fond experiences & memories for so many, is simultaneously one of the most stressful times of year for families in need.
In households where parents can't afford to send kids to programs, the lack of structure following the end of school puts them in a terrible bind. If they're employed, they have to find responsible childcare arrangements for their kids, something that's not easy to do, particularly if the children are very young. Covering the costs for babysitting is extremely challenging, especially when the expense leaves little left over, for them to live on.
Parents who are struggling with unemployment are worried as well, lacking any salaries to help cover living expenses. A houseful of people generates increased food and utility bills, but without income, parents have no way to pay for the costs. The same holds true for families shouldering heavy debts, are overwhelmed by medical expenses or are facing other difficult challenges.
Adding to the strain of families like these, across the board, is the inability to provide anything special for their kids who are stuck at home. When parents are struggling to pay for the basics, there's no money to put out even for the smallest of treats, fun activities or trips. "It hurts my daughter so badly to see all her friends heading out to camp each morning, while she stays in the house" says Daniella Z., a single mother. "But I simply can't afford the cost-not on my salary and with all the expenses I have for my family. I'm on my own and I have to cut back whenever possible. What can I do? Once school restarts she will be back with her friends but until then, I just have no choice."
Summer is a time when needy families are often forgotten. There are no major holidays, which are times when public awareness of the poor is especially high and help is offered widely.
But American Friends of Yad Eliezer|B'ezri not only remembers them; we actively work to help families through the summer months via our Summer Relief Campaign, alleviating financial challenges. Through this year's initiative donors' tzedaka will help 3,500 families (including those of 700 grushos & agunos) in 50 cities and towns across the country with 1,000-1,500 NIS each depending on size, to cover camp fees, food bills, electric bills or other necessities that would otherwise be impossible for them to fund.
Our program has an incredible track record, transforming families' summers, replacing anxiety and stress with smiles, helping them get through the season with dignity so they can make some fond memories of their own.
There are so many families in need, please join us so together we can make a difference for them this summer.