Education, Helping

Local organizations and concerned residents band together to send over 220,000 pounds of supplies to Israel

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – As the war between Israel and Hamas rages on, several South Florida organizations are banding together to send hope and help to thousands of people in need.

A community came together in Hollywood on Friday to help Israel with humanitarian aid. Several grassroots organizations and residents have united, as they gathered and packed more than 220,000 pounds of goods that will be sent to Israel next week.

“Now our efforts are joined as a community of Floridians — Jews, non-Jews, Latin, American, Israeli,” said community leader Tila Falic-Levy. “It doesn’t matter. You want to help Israel? You can come to this warehouse, you can volunteer in packing and shipping, you can donate money.”

Items like solar generators or medical supplies, down to the very basic needs like socks and toiletries.

“There are thousands of people who were displaced by the pogrom, that had their homes destroyed, that are living in temporary housing elsewhere, that lost everything,” said Jeff Levin with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Among those volunteering at the warehouse was Holocaust survivor Ivan Gluck.

“Everyone here got you blessed, because these people are the best. They’re helping, sending from A to Z, all the goodies that Israel needs, and it shows the Jewish heart,” he said.

Watching what is happening in Israel, Gluck said, is an eerie reminder of what he has lived through.

“What they did in Israel when they invaded, and the world should know that we did not start this war, that Hamas started this war,” he said. “Hamas is the modern-day Nazis. It’s inhumane, it’s mind-boggling. I can’t believe that a human being can do this to another human being, for why?”

Gluck proudly draped the flag of Israel around his back, proud of his country and the outpouring of support happening in South Florida and abroad.

“We have to stick together, and we will win, because goodness always wins over evil,” he said.

It was a job well done for these volunteers, as much-needed supplies will reach those who need them most.

“It’s incredible, and it’s heartwarming, and it’s also important for both the communities over here that serve Israel, on an official and unofficial level,” said Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Consul General of Israel in Miami, “to be able and to witness, to get the support and to witness the love, I can’t be more grateful and thankful.”

The massive shipment of supplies were packed into a semi-truck and driven to the airport, where the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has chartered a plane that will fly them to Israel. Organizers have also received more than $25 million in donations, and those will go toward people in need as well.

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