Just as Israel was settling in to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the country entered a mandatory lockdown due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases. And as a result, schools and stores closed, leaving many in quarantine and at home alone.
In Sderot, Meir Panim’s Neighborhood Youth Center staff gathered together and offered their students an opportunity to make their days more productive while they waited for schools to resume.
Instead of the usual activities, which normally include large gatherings, our youth counselors and mentors decided to “give back” and service those affected by the pandemic.
Since the onset of the coronavirus, many citizens lost their jobs and the economy in Israel has suffered greatly. In order to help those who are financially unstable, teens created signs and stood outside local grocery stores to ask shoppers to purchase something “extra” and donate it to the needy. They stood out in the heat for hours and collected thousands of shekels worth of groceries!
Another demographic that has greatly suffered because of COVID-19 are the elderly and homebound. Normally, these individuals would participate in various activities at their local community centers or spend time with friends and family. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic and current lockdown restrictions, the elderly and homebound are no longer able to do so. Therefore, the incredible staff and participants from Sderot’s Neighborhood Youth Centers got together to package and deliver potted plants to their neighborhood’s elderly and homebound and brought a smile to their faces.
Our Sderot teens decided to also do something special for IDF soldiers who were greatly impacted by the lockdown. In order to create a corona-free bubble, many units have been on strict lockdown orders in their bases so they can serve the country without any interruptions. Soldiers who normally return home for the weekends have not been able to see their loved ones for months! The teens got together to show their support by preparing and delivering care packages to soldiers stationed all over the southern part of the country.
It is truly heartwarming to see how the youth have been making major contributions to their community during these difficult times.