8 Helping Indigent Families of the Israeli Border Patrolmen HOT regularly supplies “basic food packages” (with special supplements for the holidays) to 60 indigent families of patrolmen and 40 indigent single members of the Israeli Border Patrol. What is the Border Patrol? What do they do? They are the men and women who guard Israel’s borders and prevent terrorist infiltrations. They are the popular “targets” for the Palestinian terrorists TO STAB, TO RUN OVER WITH CARS AND TRUCKS, AND TO SHOOT. The unmarried patrolmen we feed during their few days off each month have no relatives in Israel and/or have been identified by their Army welfare officer as being in severe financial distress. All the food for this program is purchased at or below wholesale. Volunteers prepare all the packages. The Border Patrol provides all the transportation and delivery. In 2014, we found out from the Base Commander in Jerusalem and the unit’s Welfare Officer that there were families of Border Patrolmen who lived in apartments where infants slept on beds (they did not have cribs), two (sometimes three) children shared a bed or slept on the floor, and/or lived in apartments where the refrigerator or range didn’t work. In 2014, HOT purchased more than $26,000, and in 2015 more than $29,000, and more than $50,000 in each of 2016 and 2017, of cribs, beds and appliances for these families. We have spent more than $500,000 on food, appliances and furniture to help indigent families of these brave young men and women whose families would otherwise be living in deplorable poverty. We can’t allow these families to live this way while their brother, sister, husband or wife risks his or her life every minute of every day. We can’t. We just can’t. Readers of the Fall 2015/Winter 2016 edition of the HOT News read about our meeting a young patrolman 4 days after he had been knifed in the neck and heart. I confess I was, and am, unable to relay the emotions that went through our minds at his bedside. Such courage, such pride, cannot be put in words, and certainly cannot be adequately conveyed on paper. Sadly, our June 2017 visit to the Border Patrol had no such miracle. This time a young Patrolwoman was stabbed in the Old City of Jerusalem and while the medics got to her quickly, her wounds were so massive that she couldn’t be saved. An irony here is that her family was one we had helped just a few short years ago. How much help will we be asked for this year? Who knows? But what we do know is that we do not have the resources to keep meeting these continuing and critical needs without donor designations. No one else is helping the families of these heroes in the way HOT is. If we don’t do it nobody will. My best guess is we will need at least an ADDITIONAL $75,000 ($60,000 for furniture and appliances, $15,000 for the food program) to expand the program to other needy families. This is not a Wish List – this is a Necessity List. We can’t let the families of these brave young men and women live in squalor or go to sleep hungry. We just can’t.