Volunteer in Israel – It’s Good for the Heart and Soul

At ShalvaJust thinking about a trip to Israel can be so exhilarating! You visualize the beauty of the sights, the special feeling in the air – a wonderful, meaningful getaway. But for citizens of Israel, life is usually not a year-round vacation. As in any other country, Israelis deal with daily challenges such as health issues, financial crises, and other difficulties.

However, one of the amazing qualities about Israel and its denizens is their devotion to helping one another. We’d like to open up to you a whole new side of Israel: a culture of loving-kindness, cultivated by an assortment of wonderful organizations in Israel. These organizations seek to help out in whatever way they can, providing guidance and education, raising funds, and serving as a support system for those in need.

Now why should this matter to you?

The answer is simple. We at GoInspire often bring our tour groups to these sites to participate in unique volunteer opportunities. Our trip participants find them to be some of the most meaningful and uplifting activities that they experience during their stay in Israel. So, when you plan a trip with GoInspire, you can be a part of this culture of giving, and experience an aspect of Israel that most tourists miss.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the organizations we visit:

Shalva

Shalva is the Hebrew word for “peace of mind”. Shalva’s mission is to bring peace of mind to the parents of mentally and physically challenged children. The people at Shalva believe that the care of children with special needs should not be left to the family alone. Therefore, Shalva has created a therapeutic environment in which children with special needs can grow and thrive.

At Shalva...Over the years, Shalva has become a leader in the field of disability awareness and intervention in the Middle East. Shalva gives parents the power and support to help their child. They give children hope, acceptance and joy, and they give the world a lesson about caring for all children equally. Through all this, Shalva promotes social change and the inclusion of these valuable members of our community.

When GoInspire trip participants visit Shalva, they have the opportunity to bask in the joy of helping the special children. These children thrive on the love and attention showered upon them by our volunteers. And the volunteers, in turn, come away with the incomparable feeling of making a difference, even just for one day, in the life of a challenged child.

Click here to read about a group activity shared by GoInspire’s JWRP participants and the children of Shalva.

Migdal Ohr

migdal haemek 2Established in Migdal HaEmek in Northern Israel, Migdal Ohr’s mission is to provide education and social guidance to children from impoverished or dysfunctional families. These children may be living in overcrowded, oppressive circumstances, where crime and drugs are part of their harsh reality. By providing students with a good education and social guidance in a loving and supportive environment, Dean and Founder Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman seeks to break the cycle of crime and desperation, and thereby gives his students a chance for a better life.

Migdal Ohr also runs a special program for children from the former Soviet Union who grew up under inhumane conditions in orphanages. These youngsters live with specially trained families who “adopt” them, and provide them with the warmth of living with people who care for them as one of their own. The youngsters are educated in the regular Migdal Ohr school system, but also enjoy many extra-curricular activities. Migdal Ohr provides a staff of mental health professionals who work with the children on a regular basis. All of these services help to heal their wounds and bring previously unknown joy into the lives of these youths.

As a GoInspire volunteer, you can visit the children of Migdal Ohr, be touched by their incredible stories and their ongoing journeys, and help support them on their path to success.

Save a Child’s Heart

The giving and loving that has made Israel “A Light Unto the Nations” does not end in Israel alone. We see this in the amazing work that Save a Child’s Heart accomplishes internationally.

Save-a-Childs-HeartThousands of young children in third world countries suffer from heart disease, and many of them have no access to the help they so desperately need. Doctors in those countries are not trained to deal with such complicated medical situations, and most of these families have little or no money to pay for the expensive procedures their children need. Were it not for Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), the youngsters would be left without a hope.
SACH is an Israeli humanitarian project, whose mission is to provide pediatric cardiac care for children from under-developed countries, who suffer from heart disease. The organization also helps train doctors from third world countries, so that they can provide specialized treatment for children in their home countries.

According to CBN News, “SACH is motivated by the age-old Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. By mending the hearts of children, regardless of their origin, SACH is contributing to a better and more peaceful future for all of our children.”

Read the full article here.

save a child's heart 2SACH does more than simply help children. SACH has joined the march for world peace with an important initiative, improving Israeli-Palestinian relationships one child at a time. Since its inception, over 1,500 Palestinian children have undergone open-heart surgery on SACH’s premises.

During their visit to SACH, GoInspire volunteers get to hear personal narratives of physicians on premises. They also visit the Center, where they play and interact with sick children from all over the world.
Once Save A Child’s Heart helps heals their hearts, these children go on to lead normal, healthy lives; their parents are eternally grateful, and the volunteers are deeply touched to witness it all first-hand.

GoInspire offers its groups the chance to take part in something bigger than themselves. It’s an opportunity to make an important contribution to the welfare of others, and perhaps to take a moment and realize just how privileged most of us are.

Be part of this amazing story! Plan your Israel trip with GoInspire, and see how you can change your life as you change the lives of others.

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