Purim is on the way as I write this article, but by the time it is distributed we will be approaching Pesach. So, the year passes from holiday to holiday and at a speed that often surprises us. But we in ESRA still manage to find time to volunteer, and we gain from it even as we help others.
Since I have been involved in ESRA I have met people who have amazed me by their bright and lively minds and physical strength even though they may be 20 years my senior. I am sure that their well-being has much to do with being active and volunteering. Our ESRA volunteers are a model for those about to retire. Several times in the past I was asked by colleagues, what can I do when I stop working? Well, we have the perfect answer - volunteer with ESRA. And that is what we would like you to tell your friends, whether they are from English speaking countries, or are English speaking Sabras, or from other countries, ESRA is the place for them. Would-be volunteers should send their details to our Volunteer Coordinator, Shelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 09 950 8371.
“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
On June 13, ESRA will hold the Annual General Meeting, this year in Netanya. We decided that this would make it easier for more attendees to join us from further afield, and, as the location is only a 13-minute drive from the Netanya Train Station, we will be able to arrange to pick-up attendees who arrive by train. Nomination forms for the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Executive are available from the ESRA office and must be signed and received by May 14, 2017.
In discussions with members in our branches around the country, I have often heard how difficult it is to get to meetings at ESRA in the Sharon area, and receive support from the center of the country. We have consequently initiated regional meetings, which have been very successful and attended by members from branches everywhere in the country. We are also expending much time and effort on ways of improving support for our branches. However, this is a two-way process and we cannot assist our branches without their input. The need to provide basic information may feel like so much bureaucracy, but it is only with this information that we can understand what is needed and consider how to help.
ESRA continues to initiate new projects and we look at options for new project locations - in fact everywhere that we have a branch. Our projects are improving the lives of those in need, whether by education, welfare, or social activities. We use the donations we receive to good effect and keep our administration costs to a minimum. We plan to keep each project going for a minimum of three years, but many continue for many years more than that. This means that our fundraising activities must continue year after year, unabated, and our fundraising committee has been doing great work to ensure that ESRA goes from strength to strength. One way that our donors and members can donate is by leaving legacies to ESRA, and though we hope to wait many years to receive these funds, this is a way to ensure that we will be able to fund our projects for many years, and the donor's impact continues to be felt into the future.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
— Winston Churchill
Wishing you all a Chag Pesach Sameach.