Despite Rockets, Veteran Yad Sarah Volunteer Dedicates His Service 24/7

Eyal Melamed drives humanitarian care to the embattled South and beyond on a daily basis

Since the onset of the raging Israel-Hamas war, Yad Sarah volunteer driver Eyal Melamed has been tirelessly working around the clock to get critical medicines and medical services to those in Israel’s embattled South and beyond.

Eyal’s unwavering commitment has resulted in him volunteering in a two-fold capacity with Yad Sarah as part of the organization’s Emergency Wartime Relief Campaign. He dedicates half of the week to delivering life-saving medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and Yad Sarah branches. He spends the other half of the week driving and assisting the NGO’s Mobile Dental Unit, which provides urgent dental care to seniors who are confined to their homes – a need made increasingly urgent albeit precarious amid war.

“Despite the fear of hearing rocket explosions nearby, I’m determined to keep helping those in need,” he says. “Through fire and water, we’ll get to everyone and help all of Israel.”

Since the outbreak of war, Eyal has resolved to make himself available 24/7, extending his helping hand even on Shabbat through the Jewish principle of pikuach nefesh.

During his dozens of recent equipment runs, he has delivered Yad Sarah-issued supplies including oxygen tanks and has installed home hospital units to hard-hit southern Israeli communities near the border with Gaza such as Sderot, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat and Ashdod.

“So far, we’ve helped many people who couldn’t leave their homes due to wartime lockdown measures and have also been there to provide care alongside firefighters,” says Eyal.

The veteran Yad Sarah volunteer of 30 years lives in Tzur Hadassah southwest of Jerusalem. On a single day, he conducted up to 12 rides for the Mobile Dental Unit. He drives the clinic on wheels along with its dentists door-to-door to patients and serves as a dental assistant during treatments.

“We plan our routes around active rocket attacks whenever possible,” he explains. “We’ll treat patients inside a reinforced safe room (mamad) when possible, then wait until it’s safe, and move on to the next location.”

In one memorable experience, Eyal recalls helping an elderly couple originally from Russia who now live in the southern city of Ashkelon. “When we arrived to give them urgent dental fillings, they were very worked up and we tried to calm their fears. They were in excruciating pain and the treatment couldn’t have waited until the war eased. Thankfully, everything turned out well.”

In addition to his steadfast service with Yad Sarah, Eyal occasionally volunteers as an ambulance driver for Magen David Adom (MADA) as well as a volunteer patroller for the Israel Police.

“The impact of Yad Sarah’s work is evident in the smiles it brings to peoples’ faces, especially during these difficult times when people are distressed and the streets are empty,” he says.



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