During 2011, the Yad Sarah voluntary organization assisted 420,000 people around
the country and saved NIS 1.5 billion that otherwise would have been come from
public coffers. This included the lending of 270,000 pieces of medical
equipment, from walkers and wheelchairs to air mattresses for the bedridden and
One of the unusual recipients of help from Yad
Sarah, just two weeks ago, was 24-yearold Odelia Lavie of Bat Yam, who was taken
in her wheelchair to the hairdresser, makeup artist and bridal gown salon, and
then to her wedding ceremony, in a Yad Sarah Nechonit van. Born with disability,
Lavie has long been receiving the organization’s help in getting places via its
Nechonit; her bridegroom became disabled in school when he was 17 and has since
needed a wheelchair as well.
Yad Sarah reported on Wednesday a 3.5-
percent increase in people assisted in 2011 compared to 2010. Among the
equipment lent out free were 40,000 wheelchairs and 2,400 hospital beds used at
home, thus reducing pressure in hospital wards. If these people had been
hospitalized, the overcrowding would be much worse than it has been, said the
organization, which has 6,000 volunteers in over 100 branches around the
country. More than 1,000 new volunteers joined last year.
organization, founded by former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, also repairs
medical equipment, runs a laundry service for the bedridden, displays medical
devices that are available for purchase, provides legal advice to the elderly
and answers medical questions.