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Heseds Provide Free Services for Needy, Elderly Jews in Russia

Among the free services provided by Heseds in 1998:

Food packages — More than 648,000 food packages were distributed, many timed for major Jewish holidays.

Meals at communal dining rooms and restaurants. More than 13,600 needy clients received meals in 215 dining rooms at 173 locations.

Meals-on-Wheels — Almost 7,400 needy elderly received more than 1,249,800 cooked meals delivered to their homes.

“Warm Homes” — A program in which select elderly Jews volunteer to open their homes to groups of needy Jews on an ongoing basis. In addition to providing supplementary nutrition, the family-like atmosphere serves a critical social function in combating feelings of loneliness and estrangement. Almost 5,800 elderly participated in 385 “warm homes” programs.

Home Care — More than 14,600 elderly clients benefitted from 1,200,000 home- care visits in 213 locations.

Rehabilitative equipment — Almost 20,000 pieces of rehabilitative equipment, including canes, walkers, and wheelchairs were distributed. Some 70 cities received this equipment directly from a plant established by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee that produces rehabilitative equipment in St. Petersburg.

Winter relief — Almost 29,800 needy elderly received winter relief support such as heating and cooking fuel, blankets, and home repairs.

Medicines — About 74,800 needy elderly benefitted from the distribution of medicines from Hesed-based programs. Thousands more made use of programs in various centers that provide legal and medical consultation with volunteer lawyers and doctors.

Social Activities — Almost 95,000 people participated in social and cultural programs including clubs, Hesed day centers, Shabbat and holiday celebrations, libraries and book exchanges.

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