Giving back to the community was the theme of a second-grade school project at Kibbutz Yagur. Recently these elementary school children encouraged kibbutz members to join them in an extraordinary act of kindness for the pediatric patients of the Joan & Sanford Weil Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, at Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel.
The Joan & Sanford Weil Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital of Rambam cares for children from birth to 20 years of age who have cancer and or blood diseases. The division also performs bone marrow transplants.
The average hospital stay of two months is a challenging time for the division’s young patients. Hence, acts of kindness by members of local communities help them tremendously. As part of their grade-school project, the students initiated and organized a fund-raising event at Haifa’s neighboring Kibbutz Yagur. They prepared and sold food and refreshments with the proceeds going to the purchase of child-friendly tablet computers for the hospitalized pediatric oncology patients at Rambam.
Laden with gifts, kibbutz residents Amit Yam and Shai Rodan (a former nurse in the division, now working in education), met with Dr. Shifra Ash, director of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology at Rambam, Ruth Ofir, head nurse in the division, and staff members. Rodan shares, “It is exciting to return to the division and meet the staff who are doing such sacred work. To be the bearer of gifts – the fruits of the children’s labor – is a good feeling. We are extremely proud of them.” At the event, kibbutz representatives accepted a Rambam Certificate of Appreciation.
Nurse Yana Diamand, pediatric bone-marrow coordinator, explains, “Our patients spend 6–8 weeks in isolation, and it is not an easy time for them. The school children’s generous donation makes a real difference and helps our young patients maintain a routine while in isolation.”