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BACKGROUND


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The Paratroopers' Foundation, a non-profit organization whose aim is to care for the families of the ratroopers who fell in action, was founded after the Six Day War.
Many families were bereaved of their loved ones in the Six Day War and did not know how to cope with their painful loss. Good Friends of those who fell in action decided to form an organization in order to assist the families, and especially the children.
Unfortunately, since the Six Day War the number of bereaved families has increased, and today the Foundation cares for a large number of families.
The Foundation members express their care and affection of the families in many ways. First of all, the families are accompanied and assisted throughout the year, the children are presented with birthday presents, members visit the families' homes, participate in family functions, and even psychological assistance is available, should the need arise. Our main contact with the families is based on three principal activities. We hold two outings; one at Hannukah (at the beginning of the year), and the second at Passover (in the middle of the year). Each outing lasts four days, and every effort is made in order to ensure that each trip is to a different part of the country.
/ The third activity takes place during the summer vacation - the Foundation holds a summer camp which lasts a full week. Beginning on a Sunday and ending on the Friday of the same week, the camp's location also varies with each outing. All these activities are carried out by present-day and ex-paratroopers, on a volunteer basis. The Foundation pays no salaries to the more than 250 volunteers working for the Foundation.

Needless to say, a large amount of funds is necessary in order to finance and maintain the Foundation's activities. We are happy to state that the basic monetary source remains paratroopers' donations. The paratroopers contribute in every way and at every opportunity, sometimes more and sometimes less, according to their ability, but their donation is fundamental. Recently the paratroopers arranged for a standing order with their bank, which enables a donation to be passed on to us, as a regular monthly sum.
During the past few years we have also been receiving donations from various organizations apart from the Airbone Formation.
Many people in Israel gradually became aware of our activities for the families, and our deeds began to be imitated (in the positive sense of the word), and we receive generous contributions. A few years ago, we adopted the families of the members of the Intelligence Services who fell in action, and this body is greatly
assisted by our activities. In spite of the optimistic tone and our gratefulness to our donators, we are confronted with financial hardship, from time to time, due to the economic difficulties and the recession in Israel. Any financial contribution, however small, will be appreciated. The families nickname for those active in the Foundation is "Daddy's friends'; and we do everything in our power to ensure that the family, bereaved of its father, will not feel abandoned. They are constantly reminded of the fact that they are members of one big family: "The Paratrooper Family': On the following pages, the members of the Foundation speak for themselves. From these excerpts and statements, one can learn about the special bond that exists between the active members of the Foundation, and the families they care for.

Gabi Medina
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