Sunday, March 12, 2006

Israel's helping hand: Israeli Flying Aid brings relief to many corners of the world



Israelis have a very good history in helping others outside of our borders to those in need of aid. Following in this vein is a non-profit disaster relief organization, Israeli Flying Aid (IFA), founder Gal Lusky and her team of volunteers have provided assistance to victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2005, and more recently to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Lusky and members of her team - comprised of a total of 60 volunteers from a variety of professions including doctors, psychologists, and social workers - have also paid visits to the flood victims of Georgia and the earthquake victims of India and Kashmir. The former flight attendant founded the IFA non-profit disaster relief organization a year ago with a single objective: to make the world a better place. "I believe in spreading goodness around, and in helping people," Lusky said. "I will go to the end of the world to do it."
Lusky means what she says. Unlike other aid organizations, the IFA targets people in far-flung locations around the globe that were either intentionally or unintentionally overlooked by most government or international aid organizations, to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to people affected by either natural disaster or regional conflict. The IFA does not discriminate between disaster victims, based on their race, religion, the hostility of their governments toward Israel, and not even in the face of anti-Semitism. "My grandmother once told me that if you go with goodness, no one will harm you," she says. "If you plant mangoes, you won't get lemons. "I am very proud of my country, and if I can come with its flag, I will," says Lusky, who explains that the organization's insignia - a Star of David with wings - was designed to show pride in being Israeli.

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