IDF soliders given chance to send flowers back home to loved ones

Two Israeli girls have begun the initiative following the Hamas terror attack


In memory of two friends who were murdered at the Nova rave during the Hamas terror attacks, two Israeli girls have begun an initiative whereby soldiers can send flowers back home to loved ones.

British-born Hanna Wine, 22, has started A Hug From Afar with her friend, Miri Dibo, 22, and in the space of a week, demand has more than tripled.

Hanna told the JC: “Everyone in Israel is doing all that they can to help the war effort. There has been such a focus on making sure soldiers have everything they could possibly need, like clothing and food. Soldiers are being sent so much food that they’re throwing some of it away.

“We realised that for the many thousands of people who stayed home — the mothers, wives, parents — they were not getting anything. So we just wanted to cheer them up a little, bit.”

Hanna and Miri are carrying out the project in memory of two of their friends, Rinat Zagdon, 23, and Tiferet Lapidot, who was murdered the day before her 23rd birthday.

Thanks to the pair’s efforts, soldiers and reservists posted around Israel can fill in an online form with an address and a message to a loved one, after which volunteers write out the message and arrange for the delivery of a bouquet.

Delivery locations have so far been restricted to in and around Jerusalem.

“It has become such a big thing so quickly,” said Hanna. “After we began the project, it took off within a few hours. It’s difficult to keep up.” Last week they managed to deliver around 60 bouquets, using eight drivers, and this week, they were on track to deliver 170 bouquets with 20 drivers.

They have received donations to purchase the flowers from around Israel and abroad, and many flower shops have offered discounts after hearing about the cause.

Volunteer delivery drivers have brought in their friends .

Hanna, who spent her first five years in Hendon, north-west London, said: “There are no words to describe some of the recipients’ reactions when we knock on the door and hand the bouquet to them. There are a lot of tears, especially this week as it’s now been many days that people have not seen their loved ones.”

She said they planned to purchase flowers from the south of Israel, which are currently in greenhouses that have been left largely unattended as many people fled north.

Over 300,000 reservists have been called up to serve in Israel, leaving many thousands of households without loved ones.

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