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Travelujah_ / Volunteering - Posts
Not too far from the Old City and just across the valley from Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial sits a center that is typically doesn't appear on a tourist's list of places to see when visiting Jerusalem.
But Shalva, the Association for Physically and Mentally Challenged Children in Israel, is where real life occurs for hundreds of Israeli families on a daily basis.
Each day, Shalva bustles with hundreds of children who arrive for various programs where they receive professional care, love and important life skills to help them integrate into Israeli society. Though unknown outside of Israel, Shalva is a beacon of hope in Jerusalem lauded by national leaders such as President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
For visitors to the Holy Land, a trip to Shalva presents an opportunity to see real life in Jerusalem and - for those interested in hands-on work - a chance to volunteer in the midst of dozens of children.
Just this year, several Christian groups either visited or volunteered at Shalva joining the thousands of Jewish tour groups from abroad that have already learned about this hidden gem nestled in Jerusalem's hills.
Antonio di Marco of Wales meets a child from the daycare; photo courtesy Nicole Jansez
Magen David Adom (Israel's Red Cross) is seeking to reach out to Christian community leaders and other individuals who may be willing to help with their new program, Heart to Heart, created to increase and protect Israel's blood supply through "virtual blood donation". Essentially the idea is to sponsor a unit or the components of a unit of blood.
The grassroots program gives churches and individuals the opportunity to participate, and work together with MDA by giving blood.
Magen David Adom provides 97% of the blood for the state of Israel.
Moreover, if your travel plans have you in Israel any time soon, Travelujah will be pleased to arrange for your group to visit the Magen Dvid Adom headquarters to tour their facilities and learn up front and personally from this very important organization that is staffed by volunteers. In addition to the limited water supply in Israel, blood is the other precious liquid resource often in short supply and the only answer for that is for more people to donate here in Israel, or to help support Magen David Adom's efforts in a meaningful way.
For further information on donating to Magen David Adom, contact www.afmda.org or email email@example.com. To arrange a group tour visit to one of Israel's Magen David Adom centers, please contact Travelujah at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Looking for a way to contribute to the Holy Land on your visit? Table to Table is dedicated to "rescuing food" in Israel and provides an opportunity to participate in volunteer activities that support the needy. Over 36% of all children in the country live below the poverty line and Table to Table provides much needed excess food to those in need. More than 4,000 volunteers a month assist Table to Table. We've picked clementines with our children's school and strawberries during the winter, both of which were very fun and meaningful activities for kids and adults alike. Volunteering in the fields is a wonderful way to not only give back, but to connect more intimately with the land and the Bible. Travelujah is happy to develop special programming for groups that want to participate in a meaningful volunteer experience during their visit. Some examples of programming options include:
Project Leket is a wonderful activity where participants go into the fields and orchards of Israel to glean fruit and vegetables that remain unpiced at the end of the season's harvest. The rescued products are distributed to non-profit organizations feeding people in need.
Sandwich Preparation is organized and executed almost daily and has alllowed many Israeli children to have a proper lunch. Volunteers can come to Ra'ananna early in the morning to prepare sandwiches which are delivered each school day along with fruit and vegetables to over 7