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Acts of kindness start at home.
The Ten Kavod Program was designed to provide regular medical checkups to elderly individuals living alone, focusing especially on Holocaust survivors. United Hatzalah volunteers receive specialized training in geriatric care and visit program participants at least once a week to take their vital signs, follow up on their illnesses, and check if they are in need of medication or extra care. The volunteer medics are members of the community serving the elderly members of their community. Our volunteers become family to these elderly people who have no one around and no one to care for them.
Bridging the Generation Gap in The Druze Community – A Model for Israeli Society

 “I believe that one of the challenges facing Israeli today is a lack of connection and understanding between our youth and the golden-years generation.” So said Yasmin Kara, the Spokesperson for the Druze Division of The General Federation of Working and Studying Youth in Israel (NOAL). Kara hails from Daliyat al-Carmel and has just instituted a program that she sees as bridging this gap and helping connect these two isolated social groupings.

The project, which is run by NOAL in conjunction with United Hatzalah, has just graduated its first group of teenage Druze volunteers who will now participate in the country-wide Ten Kavod project. The Ten Kavod project, run by United Hatzalah, trains volunteers to be medical first responders at the level of EMR and pairs them up with an elderly citizen in their community whom they visit once a week. The volunteer is tasked with providing a basic medical check-up for their elderly partner as well as some much needed social interaction. The golden-age patient and the younger volunteer often form bonds of friendship that create a relationship that both benefit from. Should the volunteer recognize a problem in the physical or mental status of the patient, they are trained to contact the patient’s doctor and family members as well as provide immediate basic life-saving treatments in cases emergencies.

The 25 Druze teenagers who are currently enlisted in their post-high-school national service program in the Druze community graduated the course on Sunday as part of their service. The course that was offered to the Druze communities across the Carmel region was sponsored by the Daliyat al-Carmel Rotary Club.

This project worked in a format that was specially designed to answer the needs of the Druze community. “Our national service volunteers, as well as those who defer their IDF service in order to work in the community for a year or two in Daliyat al-Carmel, wanted to take part in the EMR course and help out in the community,” said Kara. “However, they did not have enough people in Daliyat al-Carmel alone to open the specialized course. So we expanded the course to other Druze communities in the Carmel region as well. Now we have 25 newly trained young members of our community who will strengthen their ties with the older generation and that is a great start.”

Kara said she is working to expand the project and bring it to other Druze communities throughout Israel’s north. “We hope to expand the project in the Druze communities in the Carmel region, as well as other regions such as the Galilee and the Golan.”

When asked why she, as a youth group leader, felt so strongly about this project, Kara said: “The Ten Kavod project really strengthens our youth. It gives them the tools that they need to develop as conscientious members of our community as well as an understanding of communal responsibility. It is incredibly important for us as a community to help develop these tools in our youth and provide these services for the elderly. It solidifies us as a community and bridges the gap between our youth and our golden-aged citizens. It is a two-month course that will have a tremendous effect for years to come and it is something that should be taking place everywhere in Israel,” she concluded.

Giving out MyMDBands To Participants

On October 26, 2017, in the Tel Aviv convention center, WeWork held their bi-annual Creator Awards presentation in Israel. Entrepreneur Assaf Luxembourg who was heavily involved in the promotion and success of the MyMDband wrist strap received a creator award from the multi-national company whose estimated value is more than $20 billion.

The MyMDband is a medical bracelet that allows first responders and hospital medical personnel to quickly find out the relevant medical history of elderly patients in need of immediate care. It contains a personalized QR or Quick Response code, which provides instant access to a patient’s emergency medical information, anytime, anywhere and securely. The medical information is displayed for the medical staff in the local language, ensuring that the patient’s needs are communicated to the medical health provider.

The bands in Israel were built and distributed by United Hatzalah, who teamed up with MyMDband to distribute thousands of these bands to elderly patients, many of whom are Holocaust survivors. The patients are visited frequently by United Hatzalah volunteers under a program known as Ten Kavod. The program sees medical volunteers visit elderly people who live on their own at least once a week to check their vital signs and provide them with a social outlet. If the patient seems to have any medical issues, the volunteers will contact the patient’s doctor and or family members to alert them to the situation.

Thanks to Luxembourg’s involvement with the product innovation and promotion, he was selected by WeWork to present this device to the gathered crowd and received a monetary award worth 63,000 NIS. He immediately took the award, and in a generous act of loving-kindness donated it to United Hatzalah. His donation was then matched by WeWork Co-Founder and CEO, fellow countryman Adam Neumann.
Luxembourg was ecstatic at the turn of events. He tweeted numerous times about how thankful he was to receive the award and to have his donation matched. He also wrote a special thank you note on his own website. “Thank you WeWork. I was humbled and honored to receive a Community Giver Award of 63,000 ILS at the 2017 WeWork Creator Awards in Israel. But more than that, I was so proud to be able to donate the entire prize right away, to the Israeli start-up that invented a technology for lifesaving medical emergency bracelets, and delivers them to Holocaust survivors, for free, for life. And then – to hear directly from WeWork’s Co-Founder and CEO Adam Neumann that they will double the prize, and by that, match my donation.”

During his speech Luxembourg said that: “I believe that the best way to fight the challenges we currently face in today’s world is to show the true face of Israel. So I work to promote the entrepreneurship, innovation, and spirit of Israel. I am proud to be part of organizations and communities that believe in the mottos of “give before you get” and “do well by doing good”. Luxembourg especially thanked United Hatzalah for distributing the medical bracelets to the elderly and to hundreds of Holocaust survivors for free. He then donated his award money to the organization and was matched by WeWork’s doubling of the donation in a true gesture of doing well by doing good.

 To see Luxembourg’s award acceptance speech, click here.

Luxembourg speaking during the ceremony – Credit: Twitter: Assaf Luxembourg