13 The Gaza-Border City of Sderot Sderot is a city (24,000 residents) on the Israeli border with Gaza, within easy range of every rocket, mortar and missile fired by Hamas – over 13,000 from 2001 to 2018. Sderot was once a growing town, but with its proximity to the Gaza border, both industry and many of its wealthier citizens have moved to “safer” parts of Israel and for that reason our work in Sderot includes the Poor and the Hungry, Youth at Risk, the Elderly and Victims of War and Terror. HOT has been working for many years with Reut Sderot, an organization that helps the young, families, and the elderly. HOT and its donors have paid for renovating bomb shelters so after-school programs could use them. We have paid for food for the hungry (about 30% of the residents of Sderot are regulars at the social welfare office). We have paid for summer day camp for kids whose parents work and otherwise would be left at home or on the streets. Over the years we have (i) created and expanded programs in their Daycare Center for At-Risk Children, Early Childhood Daycare Center, and Community Center and (ii) annually have given camp scholarships to ensure that Reut’s camp program (which is subsidized by the City) includes as many children as possible. Since 2006, HOT has made more than 100 separate grants to Reut. Prior to the Summer of 2014 war, HOT made grants for children to go to summer camp, for equipment for daycare centers and sun-protective tents that were placed over play areas where kids participate in special afterschool programs, and partnered with another organization to purchase three industrial size freezers for Reut. We paid for a coordinator for Reut’s Emergency Response Team and for part of the renovation of an existing building that Reut uses as an Education Center for learning-disabled children. But then came the summer. Thousands of rockets aimed at, or over, Sderot. When their flame was spotted on ignition the sirens started and gave the residents only 14 seconds to make it to the bomb shelter. HOT was there, on the phone almost every day, making almost $100,000 (see page 52) in grants to equip shelters and pay for food, games for kids, fire extinguishers, respite day and overnight trips, texting plans, animal assisted therapy, first aid training, and more. We have paid to reinforce gates and doors to buildings where Reut takes care of young children. Last year HOT partially funded the purchase of the furniture and equipment for a new “safe” building funded by the Ministry of Defense and the City, that will house a daycare facility run by Reut and this year has already funded food coupons for the poorest residents of Sderot. Wish list: • $7,550 furnishings for a Boarding School for disadvantaged girls • $16,769 furniture and equipment for a Senior Employment Club • $31,390 furniture and equipment for 3 Daycare Centers