Summary of the activities of the "Friends for Society" association from October 7, 2023, to November 15, 2023, and preparation for the near future.
1.Since the outbreak of the war, we immediately took action to assist the residents of Sderot and the surrounding areas. The primary assistance during the first phase, from October 7, 2023, to October 20, 2023, included:
- Urgent assistance in purchasing supplies and equipment for the municipal HQ in Sderot.
- Urgent assistance to dozens of families in Sderot who lost their lives to Hamas terrorists, the families of police officers who were killed in the battle in the Sderot police station, and the families of members of the preparatory classes in nearby kibbutzim and settlements who fell in the defense of their communities.
- Funding of accommodation rooms at the "Oasis" hotel at the Dead Sea for a group of senior psychologists who volunteered to provide urgent therapy to 1,000 members of Kibbutz Be'eri relocated to the "David" hotel at the Dead Sea.
- Assistance in purchasing essential equipment and supplies for residents evacuated from their homes in Sderot and the Absorption Center of the Jewish Agency in Ibim to hotels, hostels, and more throughout the country.
- Assistance to dozens of needy students from Sapir College who relocated to various locations, some of their dormitories on the college campus were damaged, and they were left without basic necessities.
- The total assistance in the first phase amounted to approximately NIS150,000, most of which was provided through vouchers transferred directly online to those in need.
2.The primary assistance during the second phase, from October 21, 2023, to November 15, 2023, focused on continued support for families evacuated from their homes in Sderot and from the Absorption Center of the Jewish Agency "Ibim." Approximately 27,000 residents relocated to about 130 hotels, hostels, and other facilities in six main centers: Eilat, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Wingate Institute, Jerusalem, and Haifa. The key assistance included:
- Distribution of vouchers for the purchase of basic living necessities: underwear, hygiene and toiletry products, laundry detergents, portable laundry drying facilities, and more.
- Purchase of 20 washing machines placed in the evacuation centers.
- Acquisition of 30 iPads and tablets with special programs for children with disabilities to enable communication with their surroundings.
- Assistance in funding the purchase of personal and general study materials to facilitate educational frameworks.
- Connecting with refugee families from Ukraine and Russia, who relocated with Sderot residents to various locations, engaging in dialogue with them, and ensuring the purchase and supply of basic living necessities.
- Providing point-to-point assistance to needy students from Sapir College who directly approached us or were referred to us by the college's dean of students. The total assistance in the second phase amounted to approximately NIS120,000. Part of it was given through vouchers transferred online directly to those in need or to centers in hotels appointed by the Sderot municipality.
The acquired equipment, including washing machines, iPads, and tablets, was purchased directly by the association through payments to suppliers.
- We maintain continuous contact with representatives of local authorities in the mentioned evacuation centers. We listen to their difficulties and the problems they face and do everything within our power to assist them. Since the first week of the war, we have conducted and continue to conduct visits at least once a week to most evacuation centers throughout the country. During these visits, we meet with the responsible individuals on-site and with evacuated residents residing there. We closely monitor their daily lives and immediate and anticipated needs in the near future, providing them with a sense of security and assuring them that they are not alone, and there is another attentive ear to their problems.
- With our extended hands, we continue our assistance activities to the residents of Sderot and the surrounding areas tirelessly, preparing for the future understanding that the displacement of residents from their homes will be prolonged. Even if they are able to return home soon, some of which were destroyed, and unfortunately, some were also looted, there will be a need for assistance in rehabilitation and returning to normal life.
- We continue our activities and the assistance methods we have implemented so far, which have proven their effectiveness. In any case, the emphasis will be on:
- Providing a response and assistance to immediate and anticipated needs in the near future that do not receive a timely response from authorities and institutional factors in general or within reasonable timeframes.
- Providing point-to-point assistance to individuals in need, especially those with vulnerable populations, new immigrants from Ethiopia, India (the "Bnei Menashe" community), Ukraine, Russia, and more, including refugees. To students from Sapir College. We estimate that the cost of our activities in the next three months will amount to approximately NIS 200,000.
This is an opportunity to thank all our members, friends, acquaintances, and other generous individuals who have contributed to our association, enabling us to carry out our activities. Your support strengthens our hands as we come to the aid of the residents of Sderot and the surrounding areas in their time of distress.
Stronger with your support,
Friends 4 S.