A couple of years ago my mother, who lives near Netanya, had her 80th birthday. My siblings came here from England, my daughters came from Canada, and we all made a big fuss of her. She loved the visit and the celebratory dinner, and has repeatedly enjoyed it all again in retrospect.

That celebration was when I knew what I wanted for my next big birthday.

“Kids,” I told them, “I’m giving you 2-½ years notice to save up the time and the money: For my 60th birthday, I want you to give me 2 weeks.”

Having received the promise of the only thing I really craved, I didn’t think too much about doing anything else to celebrate this milestone.

And then in February I read Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll’s blog, “I’m turning 40 and this is what I want for my birthday.”

By Shoshanna’s 40th birthday a month later, her project had successfully raised the funds to save the home of terrorism victims.

And she also inspired me to set myself an outrageous goal: By my 60th birthday, which will be on November 4, I want to raise $18,000 for OneFamily — specifically, for their Orphans Project.

OneFamily is a wonderful organization that provides support to thousands of people who have been bereaved and injured by terror attacks. As they say on their website:

OneFamily understands the trauma of bereavement and injury from terror. Our family can provide the key elements that lead to successful rehabilitation. With this level of trauma, comes a feeling of isolation by singular experience. The perception of being alone affects every element of the recovery and rebuilding process. Our presence and resources ensure that victims and their families never need to feel alone.

The Orphans Project supports children who have lost both parents (and sometimes also siblings) in terrorist attacks. OneFamily holds multiple events for the orphans throughout the year, including Passover Seders and retreats, and also provides these particularly vulnerable survivors both with both financial and emotional support. OneFamily does what their parents would have done if they were still alive, such as help pay for tuition, weddings and other life-cycle events, and also attend each and every event. In short: OneFamily is their family.

You can help OneFamily continue their amazing work by donating as much or as little as you want at the special page OneFamily has created for my Big Birthday Project.

Please help me support this amazing organization and give me the best birthday present ever!

Please click here to donate to Caroline’s Big Birthday Project

And… thank you so much for helping me celebrate my Big Birthday!