The donation site is up and already three angels have contributed. شكرأ!! You can check it out here.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons today.
#1 Never fear asking for donations. I had a wonderful conversation on the phone with a manager of a local dialysis clinic today; sent him information about the critical situation in Gaza, such as this news from the World Health Organization. I also sent him an email from a doctor in Gaza with the specifications for which medical supplies are most badly needed. He seemed genuinely interested in helping. We will talk again next week.
#2 Talk with people who have already done what you’re trying to do. I have a good friend who volunteers with Save the Children. She regularly takes donated medical equipment and supplies to countries where there is a great need. She cautioned me to check whether there are any rules or regulations in Egypt or Gaza about bringing in donations. I would hate to see the supplies confiscated at the border and end up on the black market. Given the volatility in Egypt and Gaza, I doubt if there are any regulations. The power will reside with the border guards. But I will see what I can find.
#3 Think creatively. Before I leave the USA, I’m going to ask the Doctor in Gaza who provided the list of badly-needed supplies to write a ‘thank you’ letter which spells out the purpose of this donation and itemizes the supplies I will be delivering to Gaza. Then I will have some documentation to show at the border.
#4 Are you ready to go to prison? Last summer the US State Department threatened to prosecute Americans onboard a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Check it out here. As we all know, that flotilla never made it to Gaza. Several participants onboard, including one American, were shot and killed by the Israelis. I’m going to see if there have been any prosecutions. Fortunately, I know some damn good attorneys.
#5 Keep the faith. Everything is going to work out. Just trust that it will.