This Purim, LIBI USA is continuing its tradition of spreading holiday cheer by delivering thousands of festive baskets to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, with the help of some very motivated high school seniors.
LIBI, the official fund of the IDF, in conjunction with Aharai! (Follow me!), a high school social educational organization that develops young leadership and promotes social involvement with youth from lower socio-economic homes, development towns, absorption centers, boarding schools and shelters, have mobilized their participants to collect the Purim treats from the general public and personally deliver them to the soldiers.
“Purim is a very festive holiday,” explained Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA. “It is apropos that our dedicated soldiers receive some Purim cheer, especially in light of the daily terror attacks that Israel is dealing with.”
The Aharai! program, which LIBI funds, is encouraging about 6,000 of its participants to collect donations of non-perishables from the general public to donate to IDF soldiers. The students then arrange the gifts in festive Purim baskets. They will assemble and personally deliver 40,000 packages to soldiers on army bases and outposts.
The program is coordinated with Israeli security as well as army bases, as it is considered important for the youth to experience their good deeds in action. Additionally, exposing the students to direct interactions with soldiers helps to alleviate some of the common fears these troubled youth have towards the IDF.
“Without this program, many of these students would not succeed in the Israeli army,” said Grossman. “Aharai! counselors are actually soldiers who have completed their Israeli army service in combat units. They now volunteer their time to guide these youth on a more positive path.”
The Purim project is one of its many successes. Sixty buses will transport students to over one hundred army bases across Israel to deliver the Purim treats.
“IDF soldiers are truly appreciative when they receive an outpouring of love and support,” noted Grossman. “As our soldiers spend the Purim holiday protecting us from our present-day enemies, we pray that God will overturn their evil decrees as in days of old. At least we can do our part to bring some festive Purim cheer to soldiers who must serve during the holiday.”