(photo credit: KKL-JNF Photo Archive)
The young volunteers pushed wheelchairs, extended a helping hand to those using walking frames and even carried the children when necessary, so as to ensure that they all made their way safely to the holes in the ground and that each one of them planted a tree with his or her own hands. The children’s glowing faces as they covered the roots with earth showed that the effort had been thoroughly worthwhile.
“This is the first time I’ve planted a tree, and it was great fun,” said eight-year-old Angel Sorera, who is a pupil at Tel Aviv’s On School for youngsters with physical disabilities. “It makes me happy to think that this tree will grow to be big and beautiful.”
Seventeen-year-old Shaked Ben Yehoshua of Kfar Sava, who volunteers with Magen David Adom, emphasized the profound importance of involvement in activities with these children. “This provides us with an additional opportunity to give something of ourselves to help others. It’s heartening to know that, with our help, they can plant a tree on Tu BiShvat just like any other Israeli child,” she said.
Before they began planting, all the volunteers and children took part in a lively and colorful event that included singing, dancing and drumming circles. During the ceremony that followed, Yosef Eyal, acting KKL-JNF Director-General, told those present: “We plant trees all year round and hold a great many events, but this particular event is both exceptional and exciting. These activities bring together wonderful young people and remarkable children, and I should like to take this opportunity to express my wish that they all grow, flourish and become stronger just like the trees they are planting today.”
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