Bring Relief in the Extremes
1. There are units that are serving in extremely cold areas. Out of the hundreds of young men and women serving there are many of them that cannot afford a basic winter fleece. Almond Branch is currently raising money to cover the cost. Each fleece costs $22. Almond Branch proudly donated 300 winter fleeces to the young cadets in January 2011. It was an amazing opportunity to meet a tangible need as well provide the chance to bring encouragement and hope. We look forward to similar outreaches in the future.
2. A second brigade in the south needs field bags for those soldiers that cannot afford their own and Almond Branch is raising funds for that expense. Each bag runs $19.
3. Water Backpacks are needed for those soldiers living in poverty and who serve in areas that reach temperatures of over 110 F. Water dehydration is a major health concern for all Israelis living in the southern Negev regions and the north regions of the Golan. They run about $18 per bag.
4. Simple brimmed hats provide much needed shade and some relief to soldiers serving in the north. Currently hundreds of soldiers are unable to afford this basic piece of equipment. They cost $3.25 a hat.
Supportive under-privileged children centers. These centers facilitate 15 of the hardest hit kids in each city. It is a safe haven for these children. Many of them go home to empty refrigerators and harsh conditions at home. Other needs for these centers consist of: clothes, shoes, games, arts and craft supplies and projects, cleaning supplies, food coupons for the families, sports equipment, toiletries, jungle-gym play areas, etc. The City Hall provides the building, few repairs, a teacher and helper and sometimes food. In October of 2010 the Almond Branch Initiative traveled to Israel where we met with a local Israeli humanitarian aid organization to see how we might partner with them in the effort to make sure the kids basic needs are being met. Here, the some of the kids are given their only hot meal of the day, tutoring, classes, etc. It is an after-school program until 7pm. In January of 2011 the Almond Branch Initiative returned to Israel and was able to purchase a new stove, bring some new winter clothes for the kids and spend some times offering encouragement to the staff. Almond Brach plans to return with a team in the Fall of 2011 and provide some badly needed maintenance help and other building projects.
Navy Base High School Project: Helping teenagers in the midst of life's trials and stormy seas, sail proudly into their future. Israel's Navy has embarked on the unique pilot project to help 100 hurting teenagers find hope and purpose for their future. They have decided to start a high school for 100 students 10th through 12th grade, who come from difficult circumstances, and who otherwise would have dropped out of the public school system and be left on their own to find their way. The Navy is developing an educational system that will provide them with a high school degree, teach them a valuable marketable trade and give them direction, purpose and hope for their future. The Naval officers, staff and soldiers walk alongside these students offering the love, support and friendship needed to succeed. In addition, the Navy extends their help by reaching out into their students' homes and neighborhood to see where they can make a difference, but the task is large and the workers are few. The Almond Branch Initiative is one of the first American non-profit organizations to come alongside the Navy and this project to help bring hope in the face of hardship. We have already provided funding to help with some of the emergent needs of these students and hope to bring a team to Israel in the Fall of 2011 to help rebuild the homes and lives of these students and bring encouragement and support to the Naval staff who are building this project.