Hugs for Israel -                    Helping the Hurt to Heal
The “Zechariah 8:5 Project”
“And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.” (Zechariah 8:5)
From the beginning of Hugs we felt the LORD was calling us not only to bring comfort in the traditional sense to children victims of terror, but also to provide fun games and activities for them so that they are able to regain the sense of awe and excitement of their childhoods. We wanted to see and hear them again filled with laughter and squeals of JOY. The above scripture shows that this too is the LORD’S desire…that the children should be happy and playing. How precious the sounds of their joy must be to Heaven.
Before we even had a name for the project, the LORD led us to purchase an inflatable bounce castle for a kindergarten in Sderot where a 4-year-old boy was killed by a terrorist rocket attack in June 2004 leaving the rest of the children there severely traumatized. We wanted something that would make the children feel special, allow them to have fun, help ease their fears and remind them that they are not alone. The bounce castle, together with a plaque that we had printed in English and in Hebrew with the Scripture, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 56:3) did just that. The head teacher there responded in 2004, "Thank you so much for doing this! Because of the "situation" here in Israel, our children have almost forgoten how to really have fun." Since our purchase of that initial bounce castle, we were later given a wonderful donation of 20 additional ones by a supplier in Canada. We promptly we distributed them throughout the country.  Praise the LORD!  
By donating these bounce castles as well as other unusual toys, games and activities, such as the 100 custom built puppet theaters complete with a set of 20 puppets for each, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to make a long-term daily impact on many more communities whose children have been under seize due to terrorism.  Truly our actions are speaking loudly! 
This is why we need YOUR help. Won’t you make a generous love offering to this project?  This is an offering that indeed speaks volumes of love in a country that has known more than enough hatred. 
For a tax deductible gift in any amount designated for The Zechariah 8:5 Project, you can join with others in helping to purchase many of these items. 
The bounce castles and the puppet theaters are only two elements of this project.  We need your help to also implement other sports and recreational activities geared to getting children and youth of all ages actively engaged in the business of HAVING FUN!
If you have experience in a particular sport or recreational activity (for example, rope jumping techniques, Double-Dutch, Frisbee, kite-building, skate boarding, juggling, gymnastics, dance, etc.) perhaps you would be interested in conducting an exhibition and training workshop for our Hugs kids. We are especially interested in Double-Dutch teams. If you don’t have any of these skills or if you are not able to travel here maybe you could provide the funds needed for us to implement these programs around the country. Your name would appear on the programs and announcements as one of the Hugs sponsors. However, upon your request, you could remain anonymous if you prefer.
As you become actively involved in this far-reaching project, may your heart become wrapped in the sweet sounds of Joy.