April 3-7 — All week, eye clinics have been taking place around Haifa, providing around 300 survivors and Ukrainian refugees with eyeglasses and sunglasses just this week! Led by the project’s manager, Bruce Becker, the eye clinics were hosted in various hostels and municipality buildings all over the city. This is part of a 10-week eyeglass clinic that will provide glasses to nearly 3,000 people in the cities of Or Akiva, Hadera, Haifa, Netanya, Rehovot, Ashdod, and many more.
With the assistance of amazing survivors, the clinics ran smoothly. Dr.Ella Zhornist, an ophthalmologist who Bruce met during a Shalom House event in Caesarea the week before, generously volunteered her time to work with Bruce, testing eyes and giving out glasses. Additionally, Dr.Ella’s husband, Aaron, joined the clinics and fixed loose or broken glasses. Born in Ukraine, Dr.Ella came to Israel with her family in 1990. When asked how she felt about working at the eye clinics this week, Dr.Ella grew emotional as she said, “I think I was born to help people. I am always happy whenever I can help anyone.” Helping Hand Global Forum presented Dr.Ella with a certificate at the end of the week, recognizing her work and honoring her heart to serve anyone who walked through the doors!
During each clinic, the survivors and refugees shared their appreciation for the eyeglasses — gifting Helping Hand Coalition representatives with matzah boxes and kiddish wine. Sharing their stories, many of the survivors explained that they had come to Israel 20-30 years ago and were grateful for the State of Israel’s support since their arrival. Mia and Lena especially spoke of their appreciation for the Israeli government. Originally from Ukraine, they told us how their relatives and children were now coming to the Land for refuge during this time of conflict and were thankful to have their loved ones safe and close by!
Through hard work, great teamwork, and incredible supplies brought from America, this 10-week clinic will provide thousands of survivors and refugees with glasses! Our gratitude goes out to Bruce Becker, Dr. Ella and Aaron Zhornist, and everyone who participated in the clinics this week!
Click here to view the pictures from the events: https://photos.app.goo.gl/tdh7aTHwBfFYu2cq8