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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chesed Mission 2013/5773: Day 2

This morning we woke up in Israel for the first time on Chesed Mission. We woke up for minyan followed by the amazing Inbal Hotel breakfast. Everyone enjoyed the fresh omelets and waffles before our first very long day of chesed!

Our first stop was to Illanot School for disabled children ranging from ages 8-12. Illanot has an amazing staff who help the children with different types of therapy including art, speech, animal, sports and many more. We had the opportunity to dance, sing, and interact with the children. We made them feel so happy. Some of us even played basketball with the boys. The school’s choir put on a very special performance for us. It was so beautiful to watch the smiles on their faces as they sang.

Our next stop was to Karmei Ha'ir Soup Kitchen. This kitchen was originally set up as a free restaurant for those who were needy, but it soon was expanded to much more. Now, Karmei Ha'ir also sends clothing and other necessities to those in need. The students of the mission split up into 2 groups, the first cut eggplant and cabbage while the other helped move boxes of fruits and vegetables. After helping and learning in the soup kitchen, we all went to the Hadassah Mall to eat lunch. The mall is on the first two floors of the Hadassah Hospital. We then went up to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors to give out presents and toys to all of the children in the hospital. We spoke to the children and their parents and prayed tehillim for their child. It was truly amazing to see how we made these children smile just by giving them a toy car or a stuffed animal.

After the hospital, we went to Shalva, which is an organization that helps take care of disabled children after their school day. We went to their playroom and had a fun DANCE PARTY! We sang and danced with the children and had a blast! After saying goodbye and goodnight to the children we met Yossi. Yossi was the inspiration and reason for the start of Shalva. When he was 11 months old he was given a faulty vaccination making him deaf and blind. His parents searched and searched for years to find him a teacher to help him. They prayed to Hashem that if they find someone to help them they would repay this kindness. They pledged that they would do everything in their power to help parents who go through similar struggles as them by giving the parents a break from the hard life of having a child with a disability. The children love coming to Shalva, because there are so many things for them to do there. Yossi's teacher was able to communicate with Yossi by teaching him Hebrew sign language, known as the "Helen Keller Miracle." After meeting Yossi we learned how knowledgeable he is in areas such as cars, politics, and the economy.

After a short the break in the hotel, we went on to Emek Refaim for a scavenger hunt with Yachad Israel. After the amazing scavenger hunt, all of us went out for dinner with the Yached members. The day wasn’t over yet! We came back to the hotel and packed bags that would go to soldiers until 11:30pm. After a very long and chesed filled day we all went to bed to get ready for tomorrow. After day 2 of #TheMission we can all agree that the fun has just only begun. ~Emily Shrem, Senior #TheMission