In recent months, I’ve been thinking about how I can help my children learn values of giving and communal responsibility. And while we talk about these values at home, I haven’t been able to find an age-appropriate, concrete activity that would help them internalize what I was droning on about.
That changed last week. Like many parents in Israel, August for me is a scramble to find things to do with my kids. So while perusing www.funinjerusalem.com for ideas (try it; you’ll like it), I saw an entry on Yad Eliezer and called to arrange a visit.
I arrived at the warehouse with children aged 7, 5, and 3 and my nephew, who was helping me out for the day. We were introduced to two other families who would be volunteering with us and shown a movie about Yad Eliezer’s activities. Then we were sent to get forty boxes and we got to work. Each box was loaded with oil, dish soap, pasta, canned goods, and much more. My boys ran back and forth, carefully putting in items, checking boxes; my daughter (3) was given her own box to pack on the floor. After about 40 minutes of packing boxes, two very tired boys (and one slightly cranky little girl) gazed at their neatly stacked boxes with pride.
As an added bonus, each family got to take a picture on a forklift raised in the air. I could be wrong, but that may have been the most exciting moment of the entire summer for my boys.
At dinner that night my son asked if we could go again tomorrow. Before bed, my daughter insisted on putting her Yad Eliezer name sticker on her pajamas. They have been talking about the trip ever since. And it’s not just because of the forklift ride, either; they are proud of themselves for being part of something that helps other people in a very concrete way.
Well, maybe not my daughter. She’s three; she may just like stickers.
Thanks, Yad Eliezer, for giving my kids a fantastic experience and demonstrating to them that kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh.
To volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org