Fire destroys furniture destined for lone soldiers

By
March 19, 2012 15:53

Lone Soldier Center warehouse fire destroys NIS 40,000 worth of mattresses, furniture meant for overseas IDF volunteers.

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VOLUNTEERS FROM the Lone Soldier Center

VOLUNTEERS FROM the Lone Soldier Center 370. (photo credit:Courtesy: Lone Soldier Center)

A Jerusalem warehouse storing donated furniture, mattresses and other household goods aimed at improving the quality of life for hundreds of lone soldiers was completely destroyed in a fire that broke out at the facility last Thursday morning.

“Everything was destroyed in the warehouse – beds, couches, refrigerators, mattresses, pillows, blankets, everything,” Jacob Flaster, a volunteer for the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin, which operates the warehouse, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

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Flaster said that the warehouse, which was housed in space donated by the Chevrolet car dealership in Jerusalem, was “jam packed” when the fire broke out. Despite efforts by maintenance staff, the warehouse and everything in it was gutted.

“As a result of this fire, we do not have anywhere else to store the furniture,” Flaster said, adding that it is still unclear whether the Chevrolet dealer would be able to provide the organization with an alternative storage space in the future.

Furniture donated for lone soldiers is usually distributed to them weekly. The organization said that hundreds of soldiers here without family have benefited from the service over the years and at least 20 lone soldiers receive goods such as beds, refrigerators and tables each week.

“This is one of our most important projects, as we get intimately involved in the soldiers’ lives and see how can fill needs and voids,” commented Lone Soldier’s Center director Meira Weinstein, who estimated that NIS 40,000 worth of furniture was lost in the fire.

“Often times, our volunteers will deliver a bed to a soldier and then refer him to the center for help in other areas.”

“We are very proud of what we have done and everyone who is involved sees first hand how we are helping the soldiers,” she continued, adding that “we even have lone soldiers who are volunteering for this, they use their one free day from the army to help pick up and deliver furniture to other soldiers.”

Weinstein said that organization, which has a similar facility in Tel Aviv, is caught in a difficult situation now because there is no where for them to store donated furniture.

“Our number one priority is finding an alternative space to store the furniture,” she said. “Hopefully we will be able to find a solution soon and in the meantime, we will have to do pick up and delivery directly.”

“We still have soldiers calling us everyday asking for basic items such as beds and tables and we will just have to prioritize the waiting list so that those in need of basic necessities will get delivered to first,” Weinstein said.

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