Yad Sarah to hold first-ever fund-raising campaign

Move comes as demand for services increases and donations decrease.

Yad Sarah building Beersheba 311 (photo credit: Yocheved Miriam Russo)
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 on loan.
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 said.
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.
Yad 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 said.
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.
Rothner said 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 (); 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.