"I am sorry for taking so long to write this letter but as you know, I am in the army now and just came home for the weekend after 3 weeks.
We really appreciate the packages that you sent, and it was especially nice to receive them in the middle of three weeks straight. Since I got the gatkes (long underwear), I haven't stopped wearing them and so are my friends.
All of the candies are delicious. We eat them all day and we still haven't finished them yet. As you probably know, it is not easy being in the army for three weeks in a row, and sometimes this makes us in a not so great mood. Receiving the packages not only made us happy but also made us feel appreciated.
We took all of the sweet letters that were in the packages and hung them up on a wall in the main room on our base and every time we look at that wall it makes us feel good.
About the jackets...I must say this is the most wonderful gift that you can ever give us. Everybody in our unit now has the same jacket keeping us warm.
We really appreciate your organization and never stop talking about you and your wonderful project. We are going to send our jackets to have our unit's emblem embroidered on each jacket. When we get them back I promise to organize a group picture and send it to you. So, thank you again so much,
"At the beginning of February, me and my friends had a military service during one of the coldest weeks this winter at the area of Gush-Etzion, which is one of the coldest places in Israel... Luckily, we had a quiet and peaceful time there and we had no real trouble except for the freezing weather...
Then we got your packages and they warmed both our hearts and bodies; you sent wonderful scarves, gloves and hats which helped keeping us warm, with many candies and sweets that also kept us sated and pleased...
It touched our hearts, and gave us lots of strength and happiness to know that you people think of us and donate, and bother so much to help us here.
I'm quite sure that every soldier who receives such a packet feels pretty much the same.
Please let everybody involved in sending those packages know that you have managed to encourage us soldiers and give us a special feeling of connection to you, far as you may be. In the name of myself and my fellow soldiers, I would like to express our honest gratitude feelings for your remarkable kindness.
I was in military service in Gush Etzion area (I belong to division 8) in the last month and me and my friends got your packets.
And it was great to have them in the middle of all the important activities we did there.
I want to thank you and the kids/children for the efforts you make to make our soldiers happy.
God bless you
With my best regards and wishes
A Bar Mitzvah boy who did a chesed project and collected over 500 bags of M&M‚s for the soldiers received the following letter. He personally came to Israel with his Savta and prepared packages for the soldiers.
My buddies and I from the Golani Brigade wanted to wish you a mazel tov on your upcoming Bar Mitzvah. I received the package that you put together when you were in Israel with your Savta. We really appreciate the time, effort, and generosity. It gave us a chance to sit back and relax from all our hard work. The package had some really great stuff that we could use. But, what I really appreciated was all the hard work that you put in collecting the candies. We enjoyed eating them a lot. And we talked about how much we appreciate all the support from kids like you back in America.
Have a wonderful time at your Bar Mitzvah. Hope to see you one day soon in a safe Israel!
My name is moran lavi. I'm 26 years old, and I would like to thank you, and to your organization for making me very happy with your package.
My military service is in the tanks (gdud 8528 ).
So once again, thank you for your kindness and please say thanks to all the good people in this organization, and to all the donators.
I am writing to thank you for the packages you sent as addresses to the „Israeli Soldierš. My name is Rami and in regular life I am a doctor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Last month I was called to the army reserve duty in the city of Nablus and the close area. This time we had a very difficult reserve since our friend was killed in a mission of arresting a wanted terrorist.
I am writing you to express our heartfelt thanks of me and my friends of the army unit on the packages you send us. It is very kind of you. It is very nice to know that Jewish people all over the world support us.
May G-d bless you all.
Sincerely Yours, Rami
Just a few days ago, I finished my yearly active reserve duty of serving almost a month in Ramallah. This year, my service fell out in a time period not so good for me Ų as July is the time for all University exams, and I am finishing my last year towards my degree in Education.
Therefore, serving during exam period, as well as missing work, was not exactly easy; not to mention being away from my wife and eleven month old daughter for such an extended period of time each year.
Yet, despite the difficulty, or more appropriately, the challenge, it's clear to us all that it's not only an őobligation, but also a great privilege to serve our country, to be able to protect our land from those who stand to destroy it.
It made me happy to know, that this belief is not only held by the soldiers and officers in Tzahal (IDF), but also shared by Jews all over the world; indeed, your wonderful package was just an expression of this, even more, the heartwarming words in your letter. It is very special to know, that even in California, thousands of miles away from here, Jews understand that at any time during the day, whether they are getting up to go to work, praying in synagogue, or sitting down to a cup of coffee in a restaurant, there are soldiers, men and women of all ages and walks of life, who are guarding at check posts, lying in ambushes, or doing anything required to provide the best possible protection Ų not only for those Jews who reside in Israel, but actually for Jews all over the globe. For it is the safety and peace that exists in the Holy Land that influences on the safety and peace of Jews world over.
It is with these thoughts that I truly want to thank you for your support, and especially to those behind the "Package from Home" project.
May G-d bless us all in this coming year with peace and unity all over.
Shana Tova U'Metukah!
Ariel Zlatkin (past: fighter in Unit 101 of Parachute Brigade; presently: new father, Jerusalem resident, graduate of the Hebrew University Education Department, employee of the Jewish Agency Institute of Jewish Studies, and member of the IDF Reserve Unit of the Infantry Corps)
Barbara & package from home organization,
From soldiers in reserve duty we would like to thank you for the package from home. It gave us a lot of strength to know that there are many people thinking of us when guarding in the cold weather.
First of all, thank you for the package! It may seem like no big deal to send a package to a Chayal Boded (lone soldier) but it makes a big difference to us. It is always nice to know that Jews in America think about us and appreciate the sacrifices we are making. Although I am serving in the Israeli army, I feel that it is really the Jewish army. The IDF protects Jewry worldwide and although there are Americans in the ranks, the vast majority of the army is Israelis and it is important to appreciate them as well. A little about myself: I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. I went to a small Jewish religious school from kindergarten until 12th grade.
After I graduated, I came to Israel to learn in Yeshiva for 2 years. At the end of my second year, I enlisted in the army. I am still in training but in another 6 weeks they‚re taking us to the Gaza Strip to serve. I serve in the Golani Brigade. I intend to stay here (Israel) after I finish my service. I‚m 20. I am glad that you think Israel is really cool, but you should come for a visit. It‚s a beautiful country with a population of extraordinary people. Life here is more difficult then in America, but many people here love being in our Jewish homeland. I especially love the Golan up North. It‚s amazing. Anyway, good luck with the rest of your schooling.
I hope you will continue to value the importance of Israel and its armed forces. Maybe in a few years we‚ll bump into each other here and won‚t even know it. Who knows? Thanks again and take care!
Thank you so much for sending my son, Michael Blumenfeld, "A Package". He told me that there were some nice things in his package. I know it made him feel good to be included in this very worthwhile program.
Thank you so much.
My name is Nir Cohen and I'm a "Miluim" soldier. We were at Ramala at the last 3 weeks. During this time we got your wonderful packages with a lot of sweets. All of us feel great that some one at home thinks about us and appreciates what we do.
Please send our thanks to all your donors. Thanks for your efforts and your great work Have a nice day.
Dear Barbara and Penina
My name is Orly, and I'm Ido's wife. Ido is a soldier and ended his mission for this year last week. He received your package with your letter, Penina, and we are very glad to receive your letter and to have your e-mail address inside, so we can thank you!! According to Ido, every soldier that received a package was so happy and touched and I was too.
This service that you're providing is so important and it really great!!!
Thank you Penina and Barbara for your wonderful package, it meant a lot!!
Orly & Ido
Thanks for the packages for the soldiers, its really nice to get chocolates in the middle of the army duty.
About a month ago I was on a 2 week duty, the weather was very bad and stormy. Your package got to us on the best time possible, to cheer us up.
Thank you guys for making that period sweeter, and a special thank you for Ariel, who wrote me the letter.
Ron Chen, Haddassim.
My name is Shachar Sagiv, and as a reserve soldier I part from my family for a month once a year to serve my country.
I would like to thank you behalf of myself and our Company- "Lamed" of 9210 tank Regiment. Receiving the package, on top of its useful items, is a heart-warming gesture. It reminds us that we are serving our entire Jewish people, it reminds us that we are not alone in Israel in our struggle to maintain our Jewish state. Your initiative is much appreciated.
My name is Mendy Shimshoni, I've just finished milluim this year in the rough dangerous and nerve wrecking area patrolling and seeking out terrorists in Nahal-Oz right off Gaza. The package was a morale upper since we had all we actually needed from home, The warm gloves ,hat and snacks came just when we needed them and smiles came upon our lips. from all the guys of 8115(milluim) of hativa 8 we thank you and all you have done.I being an oleh myself from Montreal (parents active members) are familiar with the AACI from my first steps in the country.
Dear Barbara & Volunteers,
My name is Eran Reshef, I am a 29 year old student from Kibbutz Sde Nechamia in the Northern Galilee. Last week, during my service, we received packages and letters from your organization. One of the letters, written by a parent in Canada, wrote that he knows the treats are eaten and the letters discarded. This is not so! The treats are a tasty addition to the army food, but more important are the words of encouragement Therefore, I want to emphasize and clarify, that the letters and notes, words of encouragement and understanding, from people I do not know, give me strength, and put a smile on my face (that is full of yummy cookies). Personally, I believe the organization is doing G-d's Work. I want to thank you in my name and the name of my unit (in artillery) for your donation, your intentions, and most of all, your good will.
hi, we got once again your boxes and i want to thank you again for sending those boxes. It really shows that you aprecciate our efforts to keep Israel safe. You ask me for improvment in the boxes, well i have some suggestions:
1)We usually get the boxes in small far bases which means that we don't have "shekem" (military kiosk)
therefore i would recommand to put more chocolate: regular chocolate, "time out" "o.k" "perfect" etc' i hope i helped a little bit,
To "A Package from home":
Dear friends, my name is gideon and I serve one month every year in the reserves of the army here in Israel,and there are many men and woman like me,serving in difficult weather and dangering our lives,and I just wanted to say thank you (also in the name of all the soldiers who serves with me) for the nice packages you send us.It is very ice knowing that the people at home and jews in the U.S.A. and around the world are with us in their hearts,may this brave bond will be kept forever.
Dear Mrs Silverman
Having served a 5 weeks Miluim tour last month, I received your package.I would like to express the thanks of my friends and mine.
Dear Barbara Bloom Silverman and the Package From Home Organization
Shalom.I have just completed a long stint of Miluim in Gaza.Myself, together with my comrades in my team and platoon received warm and generous packages from you and your organization. The packages were fun, tasty, useful and utilized. Especially the wooly hat and gloves because of our cold and wet winter. Thank you and todah. You certainly brightened up that rainy day in the tank when your care package arrived. Keep up the good work ...
(Hativah 8, G'dood 9210)
I want to thank you personally for your gift to the soldiers in my Paratrooper unit.
They all appreciated the things you sent and asked where the gifts came from. I was proud to tell them that there are people like you who really care about us and that we are not alone. So besides the preparing the gifts themselves, you and your classmates also contributed to our morale by reminding us that we are fighting for a greater cause. This is important because we are in a hard business that is dedicated to saving lives.
Please thank every one of your friends in my name and on behalf of all the soldiers my IDF unit. We hope that someday you can meet some of us and look forward to a time when your efforts and ours can go to more peaceful causes.
Sgt. Akiva Kivi Grossman
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