Welcome to Harvey Grad's fund raising page -and Thanksgiving Greetings to All!
I am back from yet another magical trip to Israel. I arrived Wednesday October 25 and spent the next four days in Jerusalem, heading north on Saturday night October 28 for Lavi and the start of the 2017 ride, my 14th consecutive annual (since 2004) and 18th trip to Israel.
Yes, we finished our ride, but much like a marathon there are still more legs - so to speak - before this year's journey is complete.
And please read on for some special news, below.
So many of you have been so incredibly generous in supporting ALYN and I do hope you will continue to do so for me this year.
Since 2004 I have joined hundreds - no, thousands - of riders and volunteers who have come from North America and around the world to support ALYN. The children we ride for are deserving of your generosity. ALYN is a world leader in pediatric rehabilitation and they truly make both magic and miracles.
The Hospital receives no automatic government funding and is dependent on donations to meet an ever rising shortfall in funding. Although ALYN's incredible medical staff does so much more than the usual standard of care, we must increase staff to meet our ever rising challenge to be more than excellent. What we do we can't do without you.
Please help me so that we can both do a mitzvah to help transform disabilities into abilities.
If you're in Jerusalem you must tour this magnificent facility. Thank you to my Ethiopian Community in Seattle friends, led by Ezra Teshome, who visited Israel and ALYN this past spring.
So many children are here for long-term residential rehabilitation. When not in therapies they're taught in their own languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic (Ethiopian). No children are ever turned away.
We treat all of Israel's children - Jew, Muslim, Christian, Druze; Israeli, Arab, European. If a child needs our help he or she is welcome. In fact, desired. Yes, we want to care for that child.
Rehabilitation is ALYN's raison-d'etre. It's a world class facility. It's the jewel in the crown.
When I first came in 2004 I did so for the adventure; a bicycle ride in Israel, chesed (compassion, care) and tzedaka (charity). I've returned every single year since for the love and family I've found in my fellow riders, the children of ALYN and the ALYN staff.
Prior years have posed challenges to my travel; 2005 a near-fatal, potentially crippling crash when I was hit by a tractor trailer; 2010 a broken collar bone, and 2015 a concussion and complications for which I needed neurosurgery. (All three while bicycling and I still get out on two wheels!) I'm grateful for the wonderful medical care I've had on those occasions in the past 12 years when bike and I did not fare so well. I had great medical care, and that's what I want for the children of ALYN.
This year I was determined to feel "fit" for the Wheels of Love and in mid-July rode the STP - Seattle-to-Portland - ride, , 204 miles in two days, and also my "rage against age and gravity"ride, my age in miles (69) for my birthday on September 10th. The best (only) gifts were contributions to Friends of ALYN; the most precious gift - of love and generosity.
Here I am, "vertical and breathing" and it was such a joy to clip in when the ride started on Sunday morning, October 29, 2017. Go to ALYNRide.org to learn more. (Next year I'll be 70 and it will be my 15th ride - consider joining me for the 2018 Wheels of Love in Israel!)
I'm very grateful for the miraculous medical care I've had over the past 12 years. All I can do is pay it forward. I want others to have access to that which restores quality of life. I want ALYN to stand out as the remarkable kindness and skill that it is our human destiny to become.
I was so impressed with ALYN that in 2011 I went on the Board of Directors of Friends of ALYN - www.wolusa.org. I am so grateful to have been able to become a part of such a noble and determined group. It's our ultimate goal, as humans, to reach out and be more than we thought we could, to show kindness and generosity.
I promised! At the end of 2009 the New York Times headlined ALYN with a poignant front page story, "A Mideast Bond Stitched of Pain and Healing" (12/31/09). I promise you will not come away unmoved if you read this tender story of two children, a Palestinian girl, Marya, and her counterpart, an Israeli boy, Orel, both eight, at the time, and the care they received and how their respective parents related to one another.
I knew that if peace could happen it would start at ALYN. And perhaps a tiny shoot has emerged from the soil with this year's ride.
On Thursday, November 2, 2017, this year had a special group of riders: 21 Arab teens from from East Jerusalem rode the last day with us. We welcome them and their future volunteering and training at ALYN and look for them to join us again in 2018.
And so I reach out to you, for your help.
Can you help me to help the ALYN Hospital? Please consider a generous (deductible) contribution (for both U.S. donors and Canadians. Where are all my Canadian cousins??)
Do you have questions? Contact me directly -
Cell phone - 206.409.9504
Email - Harvey.Grad@Gmail.com
Thank you so much for considering ALYN. I hope you see what I do and why I do it and that you can make that generous donation:
Chai - $18.00
(18 is the numeric value of the hebrew letters which spell "life". This year I'm 68 and this is the numerical value of Chaim, plural, and Chaim was my father's name...a year of great coincidences?)
Chai menschele - $180.00
(or whatever you can reasonably afford)
Super Chai - $1,800.00
More? I don't even have a name yet!
L'chaim to us all - Join me!
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