On a recent trip to Israel with her family, a young girl from the U.S. got to meet her pen pal.
Y. lives in an economically depressed city in the northern Negev, where she attends one of Meir Panim’s after-school clubs.
When the American family returned home, they did not forget Y. They decided they wanted to help her attend summer camp.
“Savta” (Grandma) Esther, who runs Meir Panim’s after-school club in Kiryat Gat, reported that Y. was needed at home this summer. Her mother needs to work, leaving 11-year old Y. to look after her five-year-old sister. Y.'s  vacation days MeirPanimwould consist of cleaning up, preparing lunch and going to the nearby park if not too hot, which it almost always is.
The family graciously offered to pay for both girls to attend camp, but Y.'s shy little sister refused to go.
Savta Esther wouldn't give up! With the family’s consent for the money to be used differently, she came up with a solution.
Now the girls have their own personal day camp, with Savta Esther as their counselor, driver, and friend. Savta Esther, who just turned 65, picks up the girls and takes them out – swimming, the mall, the movies … She takes them to lunch, does arts & crafts with them, and generally makes sure they have a fun-filled summer!
This is what Meir Panim is all about – helping people in whatever way is needed.
And with the help of such special people – young and old, pen-pals and donors, staff and volunteers, friends and supporters – Meir Panim can continue to do more where it’s needed most.

Across the country, over 2,000 happy campers enjoyed Meir Panim's summer camps.
“If not for the summer camps, many of these kids would be home alone, or wandering the streets,” said David Roth, President of American Friends of Meir Panim. “Day camp ensures that the children are spending their vacation in a safe, stable and fun environment.”
The programs were exciting and diverse. In addition to activities such as swimming, arts & crafts and sports, the children enjoyed numerous outings and workshops in areas such as music and archeology.MeirPanim

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American Friends of Meir Panim seeks to alleviate and diminish the harmful effects of poverty on thousands of families across Israel by supporting a range of food and social service programs aimed at helping the needy with dignity and respect, including free restaurants, meals-on-wheels, school lunch programs, prepaid food card distribution, vocational training, after-school youth clubs and summer camps. For more information, call us toll-free at 877.736.6283 or visit our website at www.meirpanim.org
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