A metro Atlanta donor can send an ambulance screaming toward an accident site in the holy city of Tzfat (“zefat”), Israel, thanks to residents like Jeff Goldstein of Sandy Springs.
Actually, the rescue vehicle may be an ambutractor, a $75,000 all-terrain vehicle Goldstein helped raise funds for in 2011 and which the Israeli medical nonprofit United Hatzalah (“rescue” in Hebrew) used in April to rescue a lost American family.
“A driver was supposed to meet the family at the exit from the forest in the late afternoon but as the hours passed it became clear that something had gone wrong,” Goldstein said about a 70-year-old man, a young couple and their 8-year-old twins. “United Hatzalah medics in the ambutractor donated by Atlanta Project Tzfat worked with the Golan Mountain rescue team along with dozens of volunteers in 4x4 vehicles.”
Goldstein, a nonprofit international committee member, said the 1-year-old project’s next goal will build on its 2010 purchase.
“Our second-year project goal is to raise $162,100 to purchase 25 defibrillators, 60 burn treatment kits and three ambucycles,” he said about vehicles needed to navigate the city’s winding alleyways. “Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, $54,000 has already been raised toward this project. We need help raising the remaining $108,100.”
Brian Spaner, the nonprofit’s local chapter president, said its 250 members use a variety of development strategies.
“We began partnering with families on various bar and bat mitzvah projects to raise funds for United Hatzalah, we presented to students in schools, who in turn raised funds, and we met with institutions, individuals and organizations,” he said.
Sandy Springs resident Abe Levine said he is happy to help.
“It brings me great joy to know that my contribution to the nonprofit organization allows the real heroes to do their jobs,” Levine said. “These people are true heroes. When everyone is running away from an explosion, they are running towards the center of it all.”
Levine said the faraway locale is actually very close to his fellow supporters’ hearts.
“All of us involved in the Atlanta United Hatzalah community care about saving lives,” he said. “The fact that every day in Israel individuals like us, who are ordinary people living ordinary lives, become superheroes and save someone’s life without even knowing who that person is, that’s an organization we can stand behind and one that we are proud to support.”
Information: visit www.hatzalah.tsel.org/atlanta.