Volunteer of the Year!
Dr. Sarah Israel is an American social worker, mother of a 29-year-old girl with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She works for an agency that assists people with disabilities. Essentially, Sarah decided to dedicate her life to caring for and assisting people with special needs, her daughter’s friends.
In 2013, during an El Al flight to Israel, Sarah was exposed to the project “Small Change Makes a Big Difference,” run in conjunction with El Al, Bank HaPoalim, ALEH and Alut. Curious about the project, Sarah decided to learn about the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran rehabilitation village and its contribution to Israeli society.
Once familiar with the organization, Sarah learned about the foreign volunteer program run by ALEH and the Ministry of Welfare’s Volunteer Division. After finding an appropriate arrangement in the US for her daughter, Sarah decided that “now is the time to volunteer and do something for others.” Sarah’s request for a “volunteer’s stipend” for one year was accepted and this exceptional woman came to ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran to volunteer for a year.
Even with her vast experience in the field of special needs, Sarah considers ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran to be a model of quality care and inclusion. “Despite being familiar with my daughter’s world, I have never encountered anything like ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. I wish that something similar could be built in the United States,” she says.
Sarah lives in a volunteers’ apartment in Moshav Ronen together with other foreign volunteers – from Holland, Germany and Australia. She comes to the Village every day, working in the Noga House. She is always smiling and her huge heart expounds unlimited love to residents and staff. We are lucky to have Sarah Israel, an especially dedicated and special lady, join us this year. The road she took is truly inspiring.
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