Anyone who’s ever wanted to make a difference in the world, but didn’t think their “small” efforts would matter should read the following guest post. By turning a hobby into a volunteer position, Rivka ben Zaken has not only helped many people, but also made her own retirement more meaningful.
For many years, I’ve enjoyed sewing, but Yad Sarah taught me how to use my skills to truly connect with people. I’ve been a part of the Sewing Circle for eight years, ever since I retired, and I never imagined I’d find such good friends in my later years, who share my passion for fabric arts.
Before I joined, I’d heard of Yad Sarah, of course. Everyone in Israel knows about them because they are the country’s largest volunteer group, helping one out of every two Israeli families. While they’re usually recognized for lending free medical equipment, the services they offer go way beyond that! Little kids with special needs, for example, enjoy Yad Sarah’s Play Center with its fun games and friendly therapists. Seniors look forward to receiving in-home visits. There is legal aid and even a mobile dental clinic.
Yad Sarah clients and volunteers are old and young, male and female, Jewish, Arab, Christian, recent immigrants, and long-time Sabras. Tourists with disabilities are also assisted. Like a well-made quilt, we are all knitted together in a beautiful mosaic of Israel’s diversity and no one is ever excluded or denied the help they need.
Because Yad Sarah receives no government funding, its entirely dependent on donations. One of the easiest ways to support these vital programs is by purchasing goods we create like handmade baby blankets. Each one is a unique work of art, crafted in soft cotton, various colors, lovely patterns and trimmed with lace.
When I finish sewing a baby blanket I give it a hug, and hope the baby who receives the blanket feels its embrace. They are a joy to make because I know that selling them helps moms and babies. When you order one for a baby or small child you love, both you and they will be a part of this incredible group, too. Together, we can enable Israeli children to have the very best start in life.
About the author:
Rivka ben Zaken, originally from Morocco, lives in Israel. She is the mother of seven grown children. In addition to crafting and sewing, she also volunteers for Yad Sarah once a week as a support group coordinator.
Learn more about Yad Sarah, they services they offer, and the handmade goods they have for sale on the website.