Yad Sarah’s volunteers provide equipment repairs, guidance on the appropriate programs to get involved in, a listening ear, and more! Meet four volunteers carrying out Yad Sarah’s vital work in Beersheva.

Yad Sarah’s 120+ branches throughout Israel serve more than 1,250,000 individuals per year. Each branch is managed and operated entirely by volunteers. Zoom in to the Beersheva branch and learn about the men and women volunteering their time to provide compassionate care to the people of Israel.

David Conroy

2023 spring yad sarah david conroyIn 2009, I retired from my career as a purchasing manager at a chemical company. The next day, I began volunteering at Yad Sarah. I have always enjoyed volunteering, and when I was in the army, we got equipment from Yad Sarah – so I was familiar with the organization.

When I started at Yad Sarah, we were in a small building with only eight equipment repair volunteers. We have since moved to a much bigger building, with a significantly larger repair workshop. When a piece of equipment comes into the warehouse, we clean it and fix it up to the best of our ability. Occasionally, pieces of equipment are unable to be repaired. In these cases, we use any salvageable bits – screws, walker legs, etc. – as spare parts for other pieces of equipment.

I use a walker from Yad Sarah and enjoy ensuring that my friends and family members have access to the equipment they need. For example, when my friend’s father was ill, I arranged for equipment to be delivered to his home – allowing him to remain comfortable at home during his last days.

I find great joy in repairing equipment and turning something damaged into something that looks brand new. It fills me with pride to see the smiles on the faces of clients coming in to borrow a piece of equipment that I have repaired.

I find great joy in repairing equipment and turning something damaged into something that looks brand new.

Lynne Conroy 

2023 spring yad sarah lynne conroyWhen I retired in 2020, I began volunteering at schools to teach English. Over summer vacation, I got bored, so I followed in my husband David’s footsteps and started volunteering at Yad Sarah. I now work one day a week at the reception desk at Yad Sarah’s Beersheva branch.

My mother has a wheelchair, and my husband has a walker from Yad Sarah. But, other than that, I didn’t know much about medical equipment when I started. I, along with a large group of fellow volunteers, went through an extensive training course. We learned what each piece of equipment is, how it’s used, and who it is best suited for. We also learned how to speak with clients, deal with complicated questions, and clearly understand the client's needs. I am now able to confidently help clients select equipment or point them in the right direction for any other services they need.

It is a pleasure working with other friendly and helpful volunteers. I have learned so much from my short time at Yad Sarah and am excited to continue learning and helping others.

Jeremy Weil

2023 spring yad sarah jeremy weilI have been volunteering at a local hospital for many years and have seen countless patients using Yad Sarah’s equipment. When the pandemic began in 2020, the hospital wasn’t allowing volunteers to come in, so I got involved with Yad Sarah.

I began in the Home Outreach department – calling clients to keep them company and offer Yad Sarah’s support. During the pandemic especially, the most common concern was loneliness. I happily took the time to talk with clients about their lives, families, hobbies, and more.

As pandemic restrictions lifted, I started visiting clients at their homes to bring them medicine, equipment, and food, or just have a conversation. There was one woman – an 80-year-old living alone – who I began visiting regularly. She is a master weaver who makes wall carpets, and she has taught me quite a bit about the yarn she uses and the amazing wall carpets she and her daughter created together.

As much as I help Yad Sarah’s clients, they also help me. After my wife passed away, volunteering at Yad Sarah got me out of the house, looking forward to my day meeting a wide array of interesting people with different life stories.

Ruben Sifrim

2023 spring yad sarah ruben sifrimI was born and raised in Argentina, and later moved to Canada, where I retired from a long career as a biomedical engineer. When my wife and I made Aliyah three years ago, I was looking for a way to get involved with the local community and I came across Yad Sarah. The organization immediately impressed me, and I knew this was how I wanted to get involved with my local community.

I now work in the equipment repair center and specialize in electrical repairs for electric scooters, electric wheelchairs, oxygen machines, breast pumps, and more.

One of my favorite parts of the job is talking to clients waiting for their equipment to be repaired. The clients know that the people working in the repair shop are all volunteers, so they occasionally bring us coffee and pastries. While we work on their wheelchair, scooter, or other pieces of equipment, they sit and chat – about their family, life, politics, and more. This fills me with such joy and as an added bonus, allows me to practice my Hebrew.

It is such a privilege to be working at Yad Sarah. I feel comfortable and at home at the Beersheva branch and I am filled with a great sense of joy and pride for having a part in helping the people of Israel. 

Supporting Volunteers

A study from the Limeade Institute shows that employees who feel cared for are more likely to be engaged in their work and stay at the organization. Drora and Yakov Gopas, Yad Sarah’s Beersheva branch managers, have taken this principle to heart and implemented programs to support and unite volunteers.

“We have 250 volunteers in the branch per day, and it is important to keep these volunteers educated, supported, and happy at Yad Sarah,” Drora explains.

To educate volunteers and create a sense of community, Drora and Yakov have begun to implement a series of lectures to inform volunteers about different aspects of their work. Thus far, the branch has held two lectures, helping volunteers to understand the importance of a will, and an introduction to cancer and how it may affect a person’s sense of independence. These are meant to educate volunteers, enhance their understanding of potential client concerns, and create a community outside of working hours.

David and Lynne Conroy have been to both lectures and are grateful for this new opportunity. “[Here at Yad Sarah] we are a family, and we should work together. I see the lecture program as Drora’s way of saying, ‘We want to be supportive of our workers and enrich your life the same way as you managing to enrich the lives of clients who come into the branch.’

Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
hp circle newsletter