Fly-A-Cake: Making a Difference and Bringing Hope to Victims
of Terror and their Families
Published in the Jerusalem Post newspaper
Hundreds of innocent Israelis have lost their lives over the last
few months. Their smiling faces forever frozen in time, stare
up at us as we sip our coffee over the morning newspaper. Every
day it seems, there are more funerals, more tragic losses. In
those same sad articles, we read about the numbers of injured
- some lightly wounded, others in serious or critical condition.
There are no photographs of these other victims, and after their
brief, anonymous mention on the day of an attack, they recede
into the past and disappear from our thoughts.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of Israelis who are battling
the physical and emotional after-effects of falling victim to
a terrorist attack. Many have been hospitalized for months while
others are at rehabilitation centers or at home, struggling to
come to terms with their injuries. For so many of the families
of these injured survivors, life is changed forever.
A few months ago, an American company Fly-a-Cake, recognizing
the needs of victims of terror and their families launched a non-profit
initiative to offer them help and support. It all began around
the time of Purim, with the tradition of sending packages (shaloch
manot) to friends and family. The company, which has a branch
in Israel, put together a hundred and fifty gift baskets, thanks
to donations from all over the world, and delivered them to victims
of terror. The response was so overwhelming, that Fly-a-Cake has
continued to fill this much-needed role. Today, Fly-a-Cake receives
donations via advertisements on websites such as the Jerusalem
Post, Arutz Sheva, and the New York Post, which enables it to
assemble care packages that are delivered by groups of volunteers
to victims and their families. Each package contains a loving
message from the donor and a code affording the recipient the
opportunity to make contact.
One volunteer named Linda, asks herself the same question every
time she goes to deliver care packages to hospitals: Can a box
of chocolates and a bag a cookies offer comfort and solace to
the victims of terror? The experiences of volunteers have shown
that the answer, overwhelmingly, is yes!
Linda relates the story of a recent visit to victim Sharon Chaim
ben Gila. He was injured in an attack in downtown Jerusalem in
December last year, and has endured seven months of surgery and
rehabilitation. Sharon is a quadriplegic and he is unable to speak
due to the position of an inoperable nail in his brain. Gila,
a mother of nine children, welcomed the volunteers warmly and
explained how fortunate she feels that her son is alive. "For
her," related Linda, "the visit meant that people remember
her son's plight. She so needs the reminder that people care --
even people she will never meet."
This sentiment is echoed in the many letters, and phone calls
that pour in to the Fly-a-Cake offices on a daily basis. Writes
Shoshana, another victim, "I received your delivery a couple
of days ago. I was so surprised! I want to thank all the people
who volunteer for this organization. Thanks for your caring and
support." In a phonecall to Fly-a-Cake, the wife of a terror
victim from an attack three months before, repeated over and over
again how touched she was by the package that she had received.
She explained that the attention made a huge difference to them,
and that it reaffirmed that there are so many good people out
there who truly do care about them.
It is not only the recipients who express appreciation, but the
volunteers themselves. Volunteering affords them the opportunity
to do something positive to improve so many fractured lives. A
volunteer, Emunah, expresses it best in a note to Fly-a-Cake:
" I want you to know that the gift packages you wonderful
people made possible for us to bring to our hospitals for those
wounded in terrorist attacks, were greatly appreciated. For my
part I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this
act of kindness. I went to the hospitals to strengthen the injured
and I left being strengthened by them."
In addition to its initiative to send care packages to victims
of terror, Fly-a-Cake has also launched a campaign called "Kids
Unite for Israel" that aims to uplift the spirits of child
victims and enrich their shattered lives. Schoolchildren the world
over, are invited to express their concern for their Israeli brothers
and sisters by drawing pictures for them or writing them messages
of support. The children's creations are attached to care packages
and delivered to young terror victims by Fly-a-Cake volunteers.
Fly-a-Cake has recently set up a tzedakah (charitable) fund. The
need for such a fund became clear during the conversations between
volunteers and victims' families. As a result of a terror attack,
many victims and their families are plunged into financial distress.
A mother of four for example, who lost one of her children in
the Rishon L'Tzion bombing, and was herself injured in the attack,
is now confined to a wheelchair. She lives in a second floor apartment
and cannot leave her home unless a railing is built. However,
she does not have the money to provide it. There are families
that need long-term support and families that just need help getting
through this most difficult time.
It is not difficult to make a difference in the life of a victim
of terror. You do not have to donate lots of money or change your
lifestyle. You simply have to care. Fly-a-Cake enables you to
touch a victim's life, to reach out through a note attached to
a simple package. This tiny act speaks volumes to victims who
feel isolated, forgotten and hopeless.
Perhaps this incident sums it up best: Last week, a deliveryman
arrived at the Fly-A-Cake bakery, and noticed all the care packages
awaiting delivery to victims of terror. Visibly moved, he looked
at the staff and said, "So, it's you guys who do this!"
He had been sitting with family at his first cousin's bedside
at the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Hospital, when a volunteer
quietly placed a care package on the table, wished them well and
left. The family had wanted to open the package to eat the treats
inside, however the mother of the boy, quickly got up and said,
"Do you think they came all this way to bring care packages
for us to eat? This care package is to give us hope that one day
my son will be able to get up and open this package, and read
the greetings himself!"
Mailing address: 14 Bloch St.
D.N. Harei Yehuda
Kiryat Telz Stone
Toll-free from the USA - 1-877-359-2225
Toll-free from Canada - 1-877-916-2225
In Israel - + 972-2-570-2215