Devorah Hollander, from Silver Spring, MD is studying for a second year in Jerusalem at Sharfmans, “The soldiers were so happy to see us, it makes their job easier when they know people care. All day there was lots of simcha and joy and it was incredible.”
George and Chava Schwartz, from Baltimore, MD, in Israel for Purim, said “David Landau is doing a phenomenal job, we brought 500 cards from people in Baltimore and gave them out earlier in the week. We feel like this is a continuation of that and we are so excited to be part of this. We have 2 sons who were in the IDF. The soldiers are reacting positively, our son who was in the army didn’t think they would be so excited. He was wrong. The soldiers are singing and dancing with us. They stopped doing whatever it was they were doing in order to greet us. It is truly great to be able to see what the soldiers are doing and how they live and we are really excited to be able to express our hakarat hatov. [appreciation]”
The group even was able to give a ride home to a soldier, Aharon, who was off from the army but visiting his friends. He said “this was very nice to see, gives a good feeling, Purim will be a regular day on the base and this makes the soldiers happy and very much appreciate the volunteers.”
All in all, Standing Together Volunteers gave out more than 1,200 Purim packages in just a few hours. As is usually the case with Standing Together visits to soldiers, it is unclear who enjoyed the experience more, the volunteers or the soldiers. The whole trip back to Jerusalem, phones were ringing with calls from soldiers who received the letters from the volunteers, thanking them for caring. That’s what Standing Together is all about; showing the soldiers that people all over the world care about them and what they do. All year long, Standing Together is working to make sure our soldiers know how valuable they are to our people.