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Ami-Chai Refreshment Station in Mavki'im

mavkii_20240323-175211_1 Daniel (center) with founders Uriah Attias and Chani Eisenberg, Amichai’s siblings

Since October 10, a petrol station car park just a few kilometers from the border with Gaza has been the location of an incredible refreshment station that provides a warm atmosphere and a chance for soldiers to take a break. The station offers coffee, soft drinks and fruit together with freshly made cake, sandwiches, soup or a whole meal. Soldiers can rest their weary feet for a moment, or just grab food for their unit and rush off.

Each morning, hundreds of kosher sandwiches are supplied by a network of volunteers from communities around the country including Modiin, Moshav Sitriya, Ganei Hadar, Ganei Tivka, and our home in Raanana. From 9am until at least 9pm volunteers on site prepare more sandwiches and take care of requests from the soldiers who come by. We offer a wide range of sandwiches (as many as 2000 a day) and, since it started getting colder, we offer soup (250 liters a day) and hot dinners (150-200 per night). We have some volunteers in 4 x 4s who deliver meals to soldiers in the field on the border and also arrange for food to be collected and delivered to units in Gaza.

The station has two hot showers, a laundry with six washing machines and dryers and a washing up station, all built by volunteers, as well as a kitchen tent where much of the food is prepared. Our menu features favorites like schnitzel and meatballs, and we made the decision to use proper plates and cutlery at the station rather than disposables so that we can bring a taste and sense of home to the soldiers, and give them a welcome break from army rations.

The Ami-chai refreshment station was founded and is run by my cousin Uriah Attias in memory of his brother Amichai z"l, who always saw the good in people and worked tirelessly to help others. It is staffed by family and friends, together with volunteers who come from all over Israel. We are constantly finding ways to improve the station. The aim is to make conditions a little more comfortable and to remind our soldiers that the whole country is behind them, ready to help in any way we can.

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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