I did a quick check with the students and was pleased to find out that most of the team were willing to stay and help in any way they could. After putting our heads together, we saw that we needed to set up a center for the residents so we established a community authority station in the "Mishol" offices. The station, run by the neighborhood social worker and the students, responded to various needs of the local community. They knew we were there for them and could help them with everything. We also helped a large number of volunteer organizations direct their resources to the right places, and responded to requests from municipal welfare workers to help weak families. At the station, we ran recreational activities for the children, sent volunteers to visit residents at their homes and provided a sympathetic ear for many. Above all, we were there.
Last summer, we put out advertisements asking for more students to join the "Home for Rent" project, which gives students housing in Sderot in return for which they volunteer for a few hours every week in the community. I was amazed at the number of responses we got from so many young people, even though they are aware of the security situation in the city and know what they are letting themselves in for. In spite of all that, they are willing to come and give of themselves for the community.
The beautiful side of Israel is still there, thriving. I would like to invite anyone who tries to paint a negative picture of the youth of today should to come to Sderot and see the sincere work that is being done there – out of pure Zionist values.