Israel’s military members have a difficult job. Annual statistics show that 41 IDF soldiers died on duty in 2016. Four of the deaths were soldiers killed in action, six deaths were medical-related, seven were caused by traffic accidents, nine from military accidents and a staggering 15 died from suicide. An additional 43 soldiers were severely injured.
My oldest son Avi took his first Tekes in August, and he just finished his general training. He will be joining the Nachal Brigade on a volatile border area.
Supporting Israeli soldiers is key to showing the appreciation the IDF soldiers deserve. Appreciation can come in several different forms:
Thank Israeli Soldiers
Thank Israeli Soldiers is an organization that helps support soldiers in a few key ways:
- Soldier programs
Donations may be tax deductible, depending on the country of the donation’s origin. United States citizens can deduct their donation on their tax returns. Momentum packages can be purchased on the company’s website which offers:
- 2-day momentum seminar
The momentum seminar helps soldiers transition back into civilian life. Seminars provide guidance and tools to soldiers to ensure that when their service has ended, they can begin a new life with the confidence and support that they need.
The Yad Eliezer programs cover everything, from feeding the hungry to social programs and even celebrations. A program called “Holidays for IDF soldiers” is the key military-related program that’s offered.
Several sponsor opportunities are available to help soldiers, including:
- One-time donation
Donations work to help:
- Lone soldiers that don’t have anyone to rely on when they’re in need.
- Married soldiers that can’t properly support their families.
- Soldiers that are pursuing education and need assistance.
The goal is to raise as much money as possible to help 2,600 soldiers share the new year with a little dignity. Poverty is a harsh reality for many soldiers, and the programs that Yad Eliezer offers is a step in the right direction of helping these soldiers.
Yashar LaChayal is another great way to get involved. The best part is that 100% of your donations go to help soldiers. You’re not giving money to someone that will only give 10% back to soldiers; you’re donating to a cause that is providing assistance through a variety of programs, including:
- Food packages
- Entertainment for soldiers (basketball)
- Buildings (Krav Maga building for border patrol)
The organization provides numerous programs that work to help soldiers. There is everything, from food packages to helping build buildings on bases that are in high demand. Soldiers have also received backpacks, clothes, exercise equipment and other necessities that make their lives a little better on the base.
Stories on the organization’s website provide hope and inspiration for helping soldiers.
You can see where your money is going and how donations have helped lone soldiers, too.
Educating soldiers and their families
Soldier stipends are often not enough to provide for their families, and there are some options available that might provide assistance for soldiers. A few options are:
- Military discounts. Discounts can help soldiers lower their financial stress, and some retailers will accept a military ID from other countries. Contact customer support and always ask about potential military discounts.
- Support organizations, such as the FIDF. This organization helps through recreational, cultural and social service programs.
- Send a message to soldiers. A little pick-me-up can go a long way in helping keep a soldier from depression and potential suicide.
- Training programs. Military members that have ended their service can go into training programs geared to help during the transition from military member to civilian.
Education is key to helping soldiers and their families