Yad Sarah building Beersheba 311.
(photo credit: Yocheved Miriam Russo)
For the first time in its 35- year history, the Yad Sarah organization has
decided to hold a national fund-raising campaign due to increased demands for
its services and reduced donations.
Organization founder and chairman
(and former Jerusalem mayor) Uri Lupolianski reluctantly made the decision after
opposing it for years on the grounds that “everybody knows what Yad Sarah is and
does and knows where to contribute.”
It is not yet known whether the
campaign – which continues until Purim for almost three weeks – will be held
annually or only once.
The organization, which provides many useful
services for the elderly, ill and lonely from over 100 branches around the
country and has some 6,000 volunteers, has shortages of some types of equipment
– including hospital beds used at home, continuous passive motion devices for
treatment after joint surgery and even breast-milk pumps. It has 250,000 items
Spokesman David Rothner said that it has 1,000 such beds loaned
out by its branches, but even so, there is demand for more, especially as
hospital internal medicine departments are seriously overcrowded in the winter
and patients lie in beds in the corridors.
“If these 1,000 patients at a
time had no hospital beds at home, most would be in the hospitals,” he
Its services save saves the economy about $320 million annually in
hospitalization and medical costs. The organization’s mission is to keep the ill
and the elderly in their homes and out of institutions as long as possible; home
care in the patient’s natural environment of the family is most conducive to
healthy recuperation, both physically and emotionally, experts say.
Sarah has received very little in government funding, but in 2010 did get a
“generous donation of NIS 6m. from a special fund of the Welfare and Social
Services Ministry but probably won’t receive it again this year,” Rothner
The equipment it offers “is getting more sophisticated and
expensive all the time,” he continued. More than half of all Israeli families
benefited last year from Yad Sarah services.
Besides lending medical
equipment, it offers laundry services for the sick and elderly at home;
emergency beepers for those living at home alone; geriatric dental services; a
legal counseling center for the old; a rehabilitation day center; vans for
transporting the wheelchair bound; a game center for special-needs children; and
a demonstration center for devices needed by the disabled.
the campaign will offer the opportunity to again describe the organization’s
services to those Israelis and visitors who are unaware of them. “After
assessing the results of the fund-raising, it will be decided whether to
continue it.”Donors may call (02) 644- 4433; go into its website at
www.yadsarah.org (org.il in Hebrew); send an SMS with the number 10 to 6444 to
donate NIS 10; transfer funds to Bank Leumi, branch No.904, account No.
703606/48; or bring it to branches or mail it to its Jerusalem headquarters at
124 Sderot Herzl.