Needy Soldier Project
Nearly 20% of Israeli soldiers come from financially distressed homes. Army service in Israel is fraught with harsh living conditions and hard work for all, but the needy soldier suffers from additional hardship.
Although all soldiers are issued basic supplies, including army-issued linens, towels, and clothing, soldiers from financially disadvantaged families can always use more support. It is difficult for the families to provide their serving soldier with many personal items which others take for granted, such as blankets, undergarments, and toiletries. The need for lone soldiers (whose families are either not in Israel or otherwise unwilling or unable to provide financial assistance) is even greater!
For needy soldiers, there are no “extras” they can take from home, nor are there funds to purchase additional goods. That is why they turn to the Helping Israel Fund for support and assistance. And we are there for them – with such projects as the Needy Soldier Supply Closet, filled with toiletries such as shampoo, deodorant, soap, wet wipes, etc., and seasonal necessities like sunscreen or warm socks, extra towels, and the like. When a soldier of lesser means is in need of clothing or toiletry replacements, he or she can easily and discreetly request such items for free from army social workers who we are in touch with. We also supply hair cutting equipment to units to help alleviate the cost of regular haircuts.
Sometimes, we are told of financially disadvantaged families of soldiers in Israel who have trouble replacing broken appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. Soldiers may return home on furlough and not have a bed to sleep in, or a kitchen table to sit at. In situations like these, we do all we can to help and provide these necessities, and just as importantly: to get them to the soldier who needs them as soon as possible, without having to unnecessarily wait or jump through bureaucratic hoops!
We also provide thousands of food packages for the families of such soldiers before major Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashana and Passover. They include basic foodstuffs the soldiers’ families will need to prepare for the festive meals, as well as special, traditional foods associated with each holiday. We want to make sure that all soldiers and their families can celebrate with the rest of the country in comfort and dignity! Of course, we do not forget them when the holidays are over. We provide large amounts of grocery assistance and other financial support to many families throughout the year.
I want to say thank you on behalf of myself, the army social workers, and all of the 120 financially disadvantaged soldiers in my brigade. The food packages help so many soldiers in need and are really appreciated.
Shira, Social Officer
You do not understand the difference you have made. We have a lot of soldiers from poor families in our unit and the help you gave them before the holidays has been incredible!
Rafi, Tank Unit commander