This past summer, as Israel was facing a wave of terrorism, a stolen car breached a checkpoint not far from Jerusalem. In the bedlam of the attack, the checkpoint’s commander, a Bedouin border patrol officer from the north of Israel, was seriously wounded.
The commander’s wife and several small children raced to Jerusalem to be by his side as he was hospitalized, and their lives were thrown into disarray. When Yashar LaChayal’s staff heard about the family’s predicament (the injured officer being the primary breadwinner) they knew they had to act.
Yashar LaChayal is a non-profit organization that was funded during the Second Lebanon War for a single purpose—to provide humanitarian assistance to the young men and women defending Israel. A generous donor family provides the organization with its operating costs and ensures that all donations are able to be used entirely for the soldiers’ benefit.
While maintaining projects ranging from providing assistance to impoverished soldiers to distributing winter clothing to entire battalions to hosting units at professional basketball games on their off-time, one of Yashar LaChayal’s most important and meaningful programs is the Injured Soldiers Project, which provides emotional and practical support to those injured in the defense of Israel.
Yashar LaChayal’s Rapid Response Team kicks into action whenever a soldier is known to be hospitalized. Immediately afterwards, a regional representative of Yashar LaChayal is sent to visit the soldier and his or her family, and to provide whatever assistance they may need.
In the case of the border patrol commander, his family was receiving assistance from the Border Patrol and Defense Ministry, but the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr was approaching and the soldier’s religious family did not have the means necessary to observe it as they do each year. Yashar LaChayal’s representative provided them with a significant line of credit at a nationwide supermarket chain, which they were able to use to throw a surprise party for the injured commander in his hospital room and for their own day-to-day needs.
Yashar LaChayal has provided much assistance to injured soldiers in the past decade, especially in times of war and conflict. For instance, in 2014’s Operation Defensive Edge alone, Yashar LaChayal provided injured soldiers (some hospitalized, some bedridden and some permanently released from the army due to the severity of their injuries) with hundreds of tablet computers and televisions, as well as orthopedic bean bags and beds and specialized physical therapy gear. This is only a partial listing of the assistance Yashar LaChayal provided to the brave young men and women who were injured in one military conflict.
To find out more about the important work being done by Yashar LaChayal, and to find out how to join in its mission of aiding injured soldiers, visit www.yasharlachayal.org.
By Amichai Bacharach