Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter is SO here...!

We've had record storms in Israel this past week -- torrential rains and more snow than there's been in over 60 years! People in many locations were left without electricity and water, sometimes for days. Roads were closed, cars were buried in snow, women had to give birth...and guess who was called in to save the day? Yes, our friends in the khaki uniforms and the black hats. They worked outdoors, in freezing cold weather, for days on end, with little sleep.You have no idea how helpful and appreciated those hats have been lately, and I'm getting requests for more all the time. 

Here are three e-mails I received from soldiers' mothers this week. Even though they thanked me, you knitters are the ones who deserve the real thanks!

Dear Channah,
Just wanted to tell you that I spoke to my chayal last night who is freezing and he said to me, "Remember that knitted hat I got when I went into the army? (It was spring when he went in, so he was a bit skeptical that he would actually ever need a wool hat!) Well, it's saving me. It's so warm. Please tell the person who made it thank you."
So Channah, I want to thank you for an amazing service. Keep up the great work, 

Dear Channah, 
Our oldest still has his hat 4 years into his army service.
He also thinks it's the best hat he has.

Dear Channah, 
My son asked you for hats for his entire machlaka [division] a year or two ago...and you gave them cheerfully! The chayalim loved them then and they still love them now...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Congrats to the Paramedics!

This group of paramedics just completed their course and are going out into their respective army the hats you made them. 

The mother of one of the soldiers, who was the liasion with this group, wrote, "They all very much appreciated receiving the gift of the hats. A couple of them, who had other responsibilities at the time the hats were handed out, let my son know that they, too, wanted to be sure to get their hat. The timing was especially meaningful as it was a way to acknowledge their hard work and add to the celebration of their accomplishments. They posed wearing their hats so I could send you their picture as a way of sending their thanks....I am sending you and your group of knitters, my thanks and the thanks of Kapatz 24 for taking the time to knit the hats. Your time and effort really has made a difference for these young soldiers."

Thanks knitters!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's raining, it's pouring...and it's a happy Chanukah!

Today is the last day of Chanukah and the beginning of the wintery Hebrew month of Tevet. Happily, it's raining buckets in Israel today -- we've been waiting for a good rain like this for months. The people who really get the brunt of it, though, are of course our soldiers doing guard duty out in the cold & wet. It is most definitely hat season and dear knitters, your hats have been going out to the Golan, the Negev and everywhere in between. On the first day of Chanukah (which happened to be a lot sunnier) I had the privilege of presenting 300 hats to the Gush Etzion army base, responsible for securing the area I live in. They were very pleased and touched by your gift, and loved the letters and notes you included as well.

Below, a photo of myself (in the pink sweater) with two soldiers from the local army base, someone from the local security force who accompanied them, and my mother and daughter, both of whom have been collecting, unpacking and labeling hats with me from the start (and by the way, it's been six years now!)

Keep those hats coming, folks! They are being put to good use!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Farewell to a wonderful knitter

That's the recently deceased Charlotte Sasto on the left, who was due to turn 100 in a few weeks' time. Among the many other things she accomplished in her lifetime, one of her last projects was coordinating a group of women, mainly Holocaust survivors over the age of eighty, to knit more than 200 hats for the soldiers of the IDF. May her memory be a blessing.