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on 27/8/19
Stories from the van: Esther, a volunteer with the Petach Tikva van-

I found my way to ELEM after realizing that for me, personally, the act of giving back provides so much more than the never ending, self-centered chase after a career and self-fulfillment.
It meant that once a week, I put life on pause, and listen. Simple as that. Listen to special people with inner strengths that would make world leaders envious.

This is how I met a very special girl who wasn’t afraid of demanding a better life for herself. The journey she’s been on was entirely her doing. She paved her own way. I’d like to believe that our presence gave her the feeling that her wishes and dreams are legitimate.

Sometimes it can seem like it takes some heroic act or a new world order for a change to happen. But the truth is - change is in the small things, and in persistence and in giving others the feeling that someone has their backs.

Which is why when she shared her simple dream of having a picture day to document special memories, it was clear to me I’ll find the time for that to happen. It was a whole-day experience, and it felt completely natural, and I don’t know who enjoyed it more, her, or me. I was happy to be there for her, and more than that, I was happy that she knew without a doubt that I’d be there if she asked me to.

I believe that is the essence of being an ELEM volunteer - to be that consistent, stable person in the lives of many who need us. To simply be present and accompany them on their journeys, hear their thoughts and dreams.

Photo by: Shira Regev, Petach Tikva van supervisor

Read more about our outreach vans at: