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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chesed Mission 2018/5778: Day 5

Sunday morning started like every other day this week, but we had no idea how big of an impact it made on us and the people we would meet. At 9:30am, after an amazing breakfast, we set out for one of the holiest institutions in Israel, Aleh. Aleh is an organization that provides help for people with serious mental and physical disabilities. First we went into the classroom to help with therapeutic activities. After this, we joined up to have a giant music party with dancing, instruments and a lot of smiles.
After this unbelievable experience, we went to visit the headquarters of United Hatzalah, founded by Eli Beer. While we were there we learned how helpful Hatzalah volunteers are and how they save people's lives.
Post lunch, we went on an hour bus ride to visit children at a children's home. This home for children's whose regular home environments are not safe for them. We did arts and crafts, dipped fruit in chocolate, played an alphabet game, and so much more. When it was time to load the bus to go to the next destination, many children and Flatbush students were sad because they did not want to leave because we made such great connections with our new friends.
Following that home, we went to visit Neve Michael which is another home for children in similar positions. Before meeting the children, a dedication was made for a toy room in memory of Naomi Houllou A"H to give presents for the children who don't receive them on their birthday. This was very fitting because Naomi cared for every child she encountered. We also heard a few words from Rachel Houllou. Then we got served dinner and spoke to the children. After dinner, we danced our hearts out and gave presents to the children who recently had their bar and bat mitzvah. Following the presents, we were treated to play the drums and bongos in a circle with the children. Despite the throbbing feeling in our hands, we had a great time. At the end of all this, Joe Kattan was acknowledged for the great work he did there over the summer and was presented with a T-shirt that matched the sweatshirts he gave them. There too, we were so hesitant to leave that some people didn't make the bus in time. Who knows what this amazing trip has in store for us next.
~Marc Franco, Joe Sutton and Joey Greenberg, Class of 2019