The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas visited one of the centers in Israel for our annual High Holy Days food distribution where impoverished families, elderly, and individuals can pick up baskets of food for the Jewish holidays. He met a struggling family and learned more about why they rely on The Fellowship for support during the holidays.
Shuki, 46, lives with his wife and five kids in Israel. I met him at The Fellowship’s holiday food basket distribution center where he was both a volunteer packing the baskets as well as a recipient of this program.
“I am so grateful for the help I receive every year during the holidays from The Fellowship, it enables me and my family to enjoy the holidays without worry. We can honor God with the meals we prepare with the food given to us by The Fellowship.”
Shuki wanted to give back this year and to be a part of The Fellowship’s holiday food basket program, so he joined our team by volunteering to package boxes for the poor.
I spoke to Shuki as he took a five-minute break from packing in a large warehouse where thousands of food boxes were already stacked. He is a disciplined military man, spending his entire career serving his country. We talked about his life and how he came to need The Fellowship’s holiday aid. While we spoke, he pulled out his phone to show me pictures of his daughter in her hospital bed.
“My daughter was hit by a car a few years back. It was a hit and run, and we never received any help from the driver’s insurance company to pay for my daughter’s rehabilitation,” Shuki explained. On top of his daughter’s severe injuries, Shuki’s wife fell into a depression after the accident and has not been able to hold on to a steady job.
“I earn 8,000 shekels a month [roughly 2,200 USD],” Shuki explained, “but we have five kids.” Unfortunately, his income does not cover all of their expenses, and Shuki has had to borrow money from the bank multiple times. And he sometimes takes leave from work with no pay to be with his daughter, to support his wife, and to attend to the rest of his children who need his love and attention. It has been overwhelming for the whole family, and I felt so much empathy for this strong, capable military man who was in a lot of pain.
“The Fellowship holiday food baskets give me hope and bring joy to family,” Shuki explained. “I don’t have any extra money to honor the holiday and to treat my wife and kids to festive meals. But thanks to The Fellowship, my family will not be deprived of the joyous festival season we are welcoming in the coming days.”