Paying it forward with mobility aid loans for Israeli health and home care organization, Yad Sarah

Donna Oberstein and her husband, Dr. Ace Allen, love to travel. During a 2015 trip to Israel, Donna could have been completely sidelined when she hurt her foot, requiring surgery when she returned home to Kansas. Instead, a well-known organization in Israel saved the day. When Donna and Ace told us their story, we decided we wanted to help the organization do even more for people with mobility needs. Here’s more of Donna’s story.

During their trip to Spain and Israel as part of a Melton Travel Seminar, Donna injured a tendon in her foot that had already been giving her trouble, and she could no longer walk unassisted. Donna told us–

“I’d been having increasing pain in my foot. Our last full day in Madrid, I just stepped off a curb and heard and felt a pop. And we were leaving the next day to fly to Israel. I had been hobbling throughout the trip, but that really put the cherry on the sundae. So I hobbled to the airport, flew to Israel and then thought the best I could do would be to get a cane. But my husband disappeared and came back a few hours later with a pair of crutches.”

Facing the possibility of cutting their trip short, Ace had hurried to the local branch of Yad Sarah, a volunteer organization best known for its free loans of more than 320,000 medical equipment (like crutches and wheelchairs). Even though Donna and Ace were not citizens of the country, the small team of volunteers quickly gave Ace a pair of crutches with no expectation of return or payment.

The Yad Sarah volunteers holding Donna’s crutches in Tiberias, Israel before handing them to AceThe Yad Sarah volunteers holding Donna’s crutches in Tiberias, Israel before handing them to Ace

Getting around still wasn’t easy since she was using traditional axillary crutches which put strain on her armpits, wrists and shoulders, but the borrowed crutches allowed Donna to complete her trip instead of going home early. When they returned to the United States, they made a donation to Yad Sarah since they couldn’t return the pair of loaned crutches and because they believed so strongly in the organization’s mission.

Navigating Israel wasn't easy on a pair of traditional crutchesDonna using her borrowed crutches at a market in Jerusalem

M+D’s introduction to Yad Sarah

While representing KCLINK (an organization that connects the innovative energies and resources of the Kansas City region and Israel) at a networking event, Ace met our International Program Officer, Theresa Alcazar, and told her about how Yad Sarah helped Donna. Ace and Theresa put something together that is at the heart of our new partnership:

Yad Sarah’s purpose is to reduce financial pain.

It is the largest volunteer organization in Israel and helps people—residents or tourists, Jewish or not—meet health-related challenges. Every year, Yad Sarah provides free loans of more than 320,000 pieces of medical and rehabilitative home-care equipment through its 100+ lending branches.

M+D’s purpose is to reduce physical pain.

That’s why we created an innovative crutch that makes crutch-assisted mobility comfortable, versatile and functional.

We think it’s a great match, and we want to help the Friends of Yad Sarah distribute mobility aids to short-term users like Donna as well as long-term users living in Israel.

Our goal is to provide them with 250 pairs of M+D crutches, but we’re a small startup company — and that’s a lot of crutches. So, we’re asking for your help.

You can help provide life-changing mobility to those in need by purchasing a pair of M+D Crutches, which we will deliver directly to Yad Sarah.

A donation of just $125 will provide a pair of crutches for Yad Sarah to make available to those in need. For our part, M+D will cover all the costs associated with shipping the crutches to Israel, provide training and support, and supply all replacement parts. Because of your generosity, hundreds of people in Israel will be able to experience improved mobility with less pain.

If you prefer a different donation amount, anything will help. Remember, it only takes $125 to make a difference in the life of someone with impaired mobility.

Spread the word so others can also partner with us to provide life-changing mobility to those in need!