Yad Sarah served 420,000 people in 2011

Volunteer organization lent 270,000 pieces of medical equipment for the bedridden and oxygen-producing machines.

ODELIA LAVIE woman in wedding dress in ambulance 311 (photo credit: Yad Sarah)
ODELIA LAVIE woman in wedding dress in ambulance 311
(photo credit: Yad Sarah)
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 oxygen-producing machines.
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.
The 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.