Read one of our volunteer's story.

"So don’t get me wrong, they DO need a lot, they just don’t tell us that"

I started volunteering with Latet in high school. A year later, the Lebanon war broke out. I started looking for a place to volunteer, to give back and help in any way I could. The name “Latet” popped in my head. At that time, I did not really know what they did, I had just seen a banner in Tel Aviv. I started getting involved in different activities, such as collecting and packing food. About seven years later, I got my first car and I was able to do much more - that’s how I began volunteering with the “Aid for Life” program. I had no idea what awaited me. Overall, I had to deliver a food package to a Holocaust survivor in my area, only once a month. Nothing prepared me for what was to come. Here I was, going to meet the people who built this country and I found people the very same state did not care about. The state does not take care of them and lets them grow old and die without dignity. I was shocked and profoundly sad.

They often lived in makeshift homes, either staying in the storage room of the building or some improvised habitation. And their homes mostly consisted of a bed, a poor mattress, an old refrigerator, military clothes and a closet falling apart. Usually, the first things you see are the medications, the walkers and a set of “panic” buttons.

I cannot count the number of survivors who live below poverty line who have offered to pay for my services - because I am giving something, I should be paid for it. Every time, I have to convince them that I am doing this voluntarily and that I shouldn’t be paid for it.

Several times, I also went up to an apartment door only to find an obituary notice, then regretfully sent a message to my coordinator at Latet to inform them the person passed away. It happened too many times.
Needless to say that every time I go up, ring the doorbell and drops off a
package, I offer to help putting things away and every time I get a polite “no son, don’t worry”. I always end the visit with a “is there anything I can help you with?” and the answer is always “no”. But we, the organization, can actually provide help in so many ways: finances, glasses, dental work, house renovations, cleaning, blankets for winter, stoves, furnitures and more.
So don’t get me wrong, they DO need a lot, they just don’t tell us that, some of them don’t even speak Hebrew. They need us, the volunteers, and they need you. It can start the same way I did - only once a month. You come with the car, with the trunk full of groceries and bring them to their house. You can do it with your spouse, or your children - together is better. You can come once a week, for an hour and a half, sit with them, listen to their stories - I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. And if that doesn’t work out for you, that’s okay! Next time you for to a Supersal supermarket, put some items in the Latet box and our volunteers will know who to give it to.

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