Being a Rachashei Lev volunteer means being an optimist, intelligent and someone who likes people and demonstrates sensitivity in their relationships with their fellow human beings. It means dedicating time and energy to children with cancer, being aware of the difficult and exhausting experiences that the hospitalized children and their families go through, and wanting to lighten their burden and help them. Volunteers accompany the children and their families during the times they are hospitalized, and constitute a ray of light and an anchor of support and stability for them.
There are several options for joining us as a volunteer for different activities:
Night Angels project
During the activities of the volunteers and staff in the pediatric oncology departments, we identified the need for attention and assistance in the evening. During these hours the ward is quieter, only the necessary medical staff is present, day volunteers and national service counselors are already going home and even the presence of family members decreased.
In the evening, when it is quiet, after the children have rested for a while after the day of treatments and tests, they get bored and look for light entertainment, to play, to sing and to get attention. Parents are tired and exhausted from staying in the oncology department and from the race to fight for their children’s lives, they too are happy for a sympathetic ear and a supportive shoulder.
And so, an amazing project was born – Night Angels. Every evening a different group of dedicated volunteers comes in the oncology department, for a few hours, to keep company to the children and their parents. The night angels are all people with a huge heart, some are musicians, some do magic tricks, some dress up in costumes and they are all devoted to strengthening, rejoicing and doing good for the children.
Our night angels promise that children with cancer will finish an exhausting day of treatment and go to bed with a smile.
During the long hours of hospitalization, alongside the activities of the service counselors in the wards, there is a small, high-quality group of volunteers. The volunteers complete the activities of the service counselors by playing, having conversation with the sick children and their families. The volunteers come on a regular weekday, where they are integrated into the needs of activities in the oncology department. They help provide a support system for the sick children and their families, along with helping with the needs of the wards.
“Shabbat from the Heart” project
During the activities and accompaniment for the children and their families in the oncology department, we identified the need to provide accompaniment and support on weekends in the wards. On Saturdays, there is no activity of national service counselors in the departments, Sabbath-keeping children cannot spend the long hours watching movies or playing games on the computer or on the Internet, and even the presence of visitors in the ward is significantly small. The long hours of hospitalization on Saturdays have become a challenging and difficult task for the hospitalized children and their families.
And so, the “Shabbat from the Heart” project was born. Every Friday, a group of teenagers aged 17-18 come to Tel Hashomer, they sleep in the Children’s House and are in the oncology department during Shabbat. The volunteers, with a huge heart, joy of life, good energy and access to the children come to stay and spend the Sabbath with the hospitalized children together. The volunteers greet Shabbat with the children singing accompanied by musical instruments, stay with them throughout the Shabbat to play, to have conversations, and fill the children’s Shabbat with lots of activities.
The volunteers even take care of going into the emergency room, checking to see if there are any children who have come to an unplanned hospitalization during the Sabbath, and helping them and their parents get organized with food, drinks, games and any need that arises.
“Shabbat from the Heart” volunteers, take care to replace the atmosphere of the hospital at the weekend with the atmosphere of Shabbat, and that the long hours of hospitalization will pass over the children hospitalized in the wards with a sense of joy.