One of the most significant challenges in this new reality is how to support the elderly who are often alone in their homes, anxious and scared of the life-threatening coronavirus. Some of them suffer from pre-existing health conditions which can cause them serious complications if they contract the virus. These people need support, food, medication and other items which they cannot themselves retrieve from outside of their homes.
Birthright Excel, the entrepreneurship, leadership, and business program of Birthright Israel, put out a call to action from its alumni across North America and Israel, as present and future leaders to develop initiatives which meet the new challenges faced by the spread of coronavirus. Lior Avisar and Maya Klein, two active members of the alumni community, rose to the challenge and together with Birthright initiated the project ‘Door to Dor,’ with ‘Dor’ meaning ‘generation’ in Hebrew.
‘Door to Dor’ is a service for the elderly who are unable to leave their homes due to being self-quarantined and the threat that the coronavirus outbreak poses to the elderly. The project, launched this week, has already recruited more than 1200 volunteers who will pick up prescription medicine, groceries and any other products that elderly people in their communities require.
Using protective equipment, the volunteers purchase the products and drop them off at the person’s front door – so there is not physical contact or risk. An envelope with the money for the items purchased will be waiting. The volunteer then leaves the building, and calls the elderly person to confirm that everything was delivered properly.
Lior Avisar and Maya Kelin, the founders of ‘Door to Dor’ said: “As Fellows in the Birthright Excel Community, Birthright’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Program, we were called on last Thursday to develop a social initiative and assist those in need. As leaders of the present and future, we were called to think about initiatives and activities that can ease the complex realities that have been imposed on us from the coronavirus outbreak, both within our Excel community and beyond. We immediately focused on the elderly, who are in much risk from the virus and locked in their homes, and realized that all they needed was a courier. Our plan fell into place and we knew how to help. We have built a large team of hard-working volunteers and together with Birthright, we have couriers serving the elderly across Israel. We know that this is only the beginning of the project and look forward to a more secure and positive future.”
Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright Israel said: “It brings great pride to see the Birthright Israel Excel community stepping up to the challenges posed by the coronavirus with creativity and the will to assist those in need. This initiative demonstrates the unity and creativity we must all show in order to get through this crisis, stronger, more resilient, and more united. I hope communities outside of Israel will be inspired to join this project as well.”