Almond Branch Initiative provided the funds needed to fully equip Dr. Rita with complete emergency and surgical field equipment to be used during war times and during acts of terror. Dr. Rita is part of a volunteer program called First Responders. All medical professionals in this program serve on a volunteer basis and must therefore afford their own equipment. ABI not only paid for the medical supplies but also provided Dr. Rita with a bulletproof helmet and a flak jacket for her personal protection!

The following is the thank you letter we received from Dr. Rita:

Shalom Jill,

My name is Dr. Rita and I have received your donation of personal equipment during the Gaza operation.

During the recent conflict in the south of Israel, I, along with many other doctors, medical personnel, firefighters, rescue workers and just ordinary citizens of Israel, felt compelled by the terrible conditions and tremendous trauma that the residents of towns, villages and communities were forced to live under, to volunteer our services to give these brave men, women and children, and any all assistance that we could in order to make their lives just a little easier.

castlead_letterAs the conflict stretched out, it soon became apparent that our work was vital not just to boost their moral and help them get through those stressful days, but also to provide vital medical aid to those who fell victim to rocket and mortar attacks, those whose homes were destroyed and those who had to watch their wives and children seek deeper and deeper into depression and fear.

We quickly discovered that, with the best will in the world, we just didn’t have the resources to provide adequate solutions for all of the problems we were faced with despite the support given us by so many people here in Israel. We lacked medicines, medical equipment and even basic protection for our doctors and other volunteers who, with no thought for their own safety, put themselves in the front line of the civilian conflict.

And then, our prayers were answered. Because of generous donations such as yours, we were able to resupply our first response teams with vital medicines and equipment they needed to help those in need. We were able to supply our emergency teams with flak jackets and protective helmets so they could have some measure of security when rushing to a home where a rocket had fallen just minutes before.

As a doctor on one of these teams, I can honestly say that, from my own personnel experience during those traumatic days, your donation to me brought precious supplies and personal safety equipment that helped me perform my job better and with greater security. Your donation gave me the opportunity to help even more people and was crucial in saving lives and facilitating immediate and vital treatment of the injured before their transportation to the hospital. I know for a fact, because I was there, that this treatment helped prevent severe complications that would have arisen if a wounded individual had been forced to suffer a 40 minute ambulance ride to the nearest hospital before receiving other than elementary first aid.

Jill, I cannot even begin to express my thanks to you. I wish there was some way I could convey to you in words the reactions of the injured to our treatment and the thanks they expressed not only to us, but through us to all who contributed to making this effort possible - to you!

In Judaism we say that he who saves the life of just one person it’s as if he saved the entire world. Your donation saved many worlds and for that I will forever be in your debt and you will always be in prayers.

With much regard,

Dr. Rita