I’m a social worker, not a fundraiser. But I couldn’t say no to Yad Sarah.

Yad Sarah is Israel’s largest volunteer-led social support agency. It saves the Israeli government and healthcare system an estimated $300 million per year, and aids everyone—young, old, Jewish, Christian, Arab, Druze, men, women, religious and secular.

Every day, I go to work, proud to serve as the Executive Director of Yad Sarah’s American office, and present the mission of Yad Sarah to its friends in the USA, and to the international community at the UN.

When I started, I was overwhelmed by the challenge. Hundreds of thousands of people depend on Yad Sarah. They have nowhere else to turn. But slowly, I gained trust in my team and in the generosity and dedication of our volunteers. Our mission has great urgency, but we are prepared.

It’s been 14 years now – years of rewarding work – filled with joy, passion, and no small measure of challenges.

Yad Sarah serves as a hub of healing, dignity, and opportunity, especially for society’s most vulnerable and underserved. Its programs and services are dynamic and multi-faceted, from providing elder care, home health, and medical equipment loans, to advocating for disability rights, cultivating volunteerism, and advancing community building.

One young volunteer, in a small periphery town in Israel, said, “We don’t save lives. We save quality of life.”

And a donor in NYC told me, “I give, and I encourage others to give, because I want to know that my life mattered.”

I didn’t even want a contract when I started this work, because I knew I was in it for the long haul – I knew I wanted to make an impact, and to do that, I needed time. But at the organization’s insistence, I signed a token one-year agreement, which we still renew annually. By now, the shoe is on the other foot – Yad Sarah doesn’t know why we bother with it, but to me, it’s a symbol of why I give: to choose good, again and again; to commit to life with awareness and courage.

Our clients, despite their tremendous challenges, do that every day, and with a smile. I am honored to follow their example. I get to care about the same issues professionally that I do personally, and for that I feel incredibly grateful.

-Adele Goldberg, Executive Director - Friends of Yad Sarah