Organized by: Shir Levanon
EVENT DATE Sep 27, 2016
Hi Everyone! I never imagined writing a description for an online fundraiser; I remember participating in school bake sales in Rio and being insanely happy as my tray of goodies was becoming emptier during the day (not to mention that my mother would definitely be sad if she saw anything left on the tray as I returned home).
So about why I am writing this description - Yes, my birthday is coming up and to those of you who know me, I would much rather celebrate other people's birthdays. This year, however, there is a very a specific way in which I would like to celebrate and was wondering if you could help me celebrate by donating as little or as much as you want for a cause that is close to my heart.
About half-a-year ago, my mother received a phone call from a friend who is involved with a youth village somewhat close to our neighborhood. The friend told my mother about one of the programs in the youth village in which teenagers who have been separated from their families due to childhood abuse and financial issues, among many other reasons, are brought back into the educational system and are mentored so as to build a successful future. After explaining about the program, the friend asked my mother if we could invite one of the program participants for Shabbat dinner at our house...and next thing you know, Avihai, the 19-year-old boy, became part of my family as much as we became his (only) family. He has cut all ties with his biological family.
A month ago, when I flew to Israel, I met Avihai for the first time. The only thing I will try to say about our first encounter is that my heart has never witnessed such intensity of feelings before. While talking to Avihai, I noticed he has a hard time communicating, reading (potentially vision problems?), opening up...and in general, it is impossible to know what goes on in his head. And so I decided to raise a symbolic amount of money so that he can get a psychological/medical diagnosis and so that we know how to help him better. I would like to highlight that this has nothing to do with my parents, this crowd rise intiative was solely mine, my guess is that they would not go out of their way to share the story. But since I am far away and truly miss Avihai, I thought I would try to help. Please don't feel like you have to donate, it really won't offend me, just giving this a try.
Thank you. L'chaim.