I get a lot of emails from this blog. My personal gmail account is posted on my profile, which is actually pretty stupid of me in terms of the chance to get "spam-bombed," but I really like to have feedback. I can't even begin to tell you how many 17-25 year old people write me asking advice about the army, and Israel in general. Some people write simply to express appreciation for the blog, noting especially how little time I have to write it (about a few days a month, literally). I also get emails asking me about my personal opinions on relevant topics and news items. Supposedly my opinion counts?
Bottom line, I get a lot of emails. Recently, however, I had a very cool email from a teacher in America in response to my Foot Patrol post. With her permission, I am reprinting it here:
Can't remember how or when I first surfed to your blog, but I've been following it ever since. You always write very well, but this post in particular is magniv. I teach 4th grade religious school. Our new curriculum this year is Israel. I have decided that all of our tzedakah will go to Israeli charities. If you send me the name of your favorite charity, I will send our next $36 to it, in your honor. So far this year, we have raised money for Birthday Angels and Yad L'kashish, and our next project is Warm the Needy. If you don't have a favorite, we will send to PizzaIDF. Please let me know.
I recommended that her class donate their charity (tzedaka) to Friends of the IDF (FIDF), but specifically to the Wounded Soldiers Program. Any soldier who opens his eyes and sees their symbol, and specifically lone soldiers like me (chayal boded), will know that they really generate absurd amounts of money for the IDF and her soldiers. My battalion even had an entire week at an army resort in Ashkelon a couple months ago, replete with amazing food and ammentities - all funded by FIDF donors (actually, Haim Saban himself).
Now, I know I'm no fundraiser. But if you are feeling charitable, I have some ideas for good places to donate. Below is a list of IDF-specific organizations that support Israel's holy warriors (always wanted to say that):
Friends of the IDF (FIDF)
A Package From Home --- Their website is kinda lame, but trust me, I've heard good things about them!
The Libi Fund --- I see their logo everywhere in the army, also.
Yashar LaChayal --- These guys are great. They gave us Camelbak-style hydration packs at that resort I mentioned, and I even did a short video clip with my unit behind me cheering. I was thanking them in English. It was pretty awkward for me! Anyway, if you do donate to them, I personally hope you send money to the injured soldiers department.
One Family Fund --- This is actually a charity to support Israeli victims of terror. So, it's not directly for soldiers, but I suppose it's related. I included it because a good friend of mine is apparently a fan of it, according to the Fund's website. Also, I live really close to one of their buildings. Just another option for you!
In terms of all those pizza for IDF soldiers charities, I'm not going to endorse them. I haven't heard anything bad about them, or anything like that. It's just that I looked at their prices for donation, and it was a little ridiculous. 1 pizza and 1 soda for like $26 dollars? Why? A pizza in Sderot, which would be the place they'd bring Gaza-operating forces, probably costs like 45 shekels ($12). And the same for other operating areas in the West Bank. I just don't have experience with them, and the price is so high, that I can't really say anything! Sorry!
Anyway. If you want to donate, don't think any amount is too small! $10 here and there adds up!