The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) sent a special vehicle dubbed the "Fellowship Vehicle” to distribute refreshing food to regular and reserve IDF soldiers serving in the area adjacent to Gaza.
The initiative comes as result of the increased tension in the arena, which began over nine weeks ago, when the special alert began in the area. Since then, the vehicle has reached more than 4,170 soldiers.
Fellowship Vehicle visits to the area took place several times in recent weeks, in cooperation with the "United for Israel Soldier's" organization. During a visit last Thursday, Yael Eckstein, deputy director of the International Fellowship, joined the delegation.
The soldiers, many of whom have been in the area for more than 21 days without furloughs, were excited and touched by the gracious gesture, arriving en masse at the Fellowship Unit. Among the soldiers who benefited from the distribution were soldiers from the Engineering Corps, who have been neutralizing many explosive devices recently, as well as snipers, whose identity is kept secret, and quite a few soldiers on the front who are entrusted with the operation of the Iron Dome.
Eckstein shared her experiences at the distribution campaign of the Fellowship Vehicle.
"From the moment we arrived at the area, we saw soldiers who were sweating and tired, but no less determined and dedicated to one goal: preserving the welfare of Israeli citizens," she said. "The soldiers' enthusiasm for another cup of coffee or an ice pop testified more than anything else to how much our soldiers need these breaks, and how hard they work for us, the Israel citizens, in their day-to-day service under conditions of extreme heat and stress."
"We are privileged to represent more than 1.4 million donors, and to raise a smile on the soldiers' lips and to ease their daily routine a little."
The International Fellowship works tirelessly to benefit the soldiers, and is one of the organizations that contribute most significant sums to the IDF. The Fellowship focuses most of its donations on benefiting "lone soldiers" who have no family in Israel, as well as soldiers from disadvantaged homes and families in distress. The total amount of the International Fellowship’s donations to the IDF is NIS 20 million per year.
The Fellowship Vehicle, which was inaugurated in May 2013, is one of the Fellowship’s initiatives to benefit the soldiers. The fellowship has two vehicle units. One, located in the south, operates near posts in the Gaza border area and training areas in the Negev. The other operates in positions in the areas bordering Lebanon and Syria, and in training areas in the Golan Heights.
Both units serve as a mobile cafeteria that reaches military assembly and activity areas. They come to pamper the soldiers and provide them with a break, food and drink. The vehicles, which look like trucks because of their size, are equipped with ice pops, candy, food, and hot and cold drinks, which are distributed free to soldiers in the field.
In addition, the Vehicle unit can also be transformed into a kind of clubhouse, with a convertible, opening roof, coffee tables, a large television screen, speakers, an amplification system and cable TV services. The Vehicle unit can also set up a stage for a performance by a visiting entertainer.