At Easter and Christmas, the FHL arrange for families and children in the Bethlehem District to receive food and clothing vouchers, which are then “spent” at shops owned by local Christians. We also distribute blankets, heaters and medicines at Christmas.
This project is coordinated for the FHL in the Holy land by the Sons of the earth Association (SEA) a non profit organisation that deals with the economic and social considerations of the Christians in the Bethlehem District. The three Parish Priests in St. Catherine’s Bethlehem, Beil Jala and Beit Sahour supported the initiative and ensure the most needy receive support.
The real advantage of this project is that three parties benefit; the children, their parents and the local family run neighbourhood shops. SEA provides the FHL with the names of all beneficiaries, so we know our funds, given most generously in the UK, are being channelled to the most deserving cases.
A typical response from a parent was: "Thank you for drawing a big smile on the faces of our children and for opening a window of hope and happiness for a better future." A shopkeeper said: "This is the first time in my life I am having a good Easter business period. I know my shop is small but all thanks to you FHL, I managed to sell more than 3,000 NIS in less than 5 days. Thank you and may God bless you all."