While at Yeshivah of Flatbush high school, I organized fundraising activities benefiting Tikvot & Etgarim, two Israeli non-profit organizations which help victims of war and terror with rehabilitation of body, mind and soul. In this article published in Jewish Image Magazine in 2008, Charlie explains how he and his classmates helped with logistics and fundraising (more photos), specifically for Asael Shabo who lost his leg in 2002 when his home was invaded and his brothers and mother killed. In a followup article, he interviewed Steven Averbach, an American who started Tikvot in Israel and traveled back to the US to raise money. With the money raised, Asael Shabo received a specialized sports prosthetic leg and various services so he could continue his physical rehabilitation through sports.
“On May 20th, I landed in Israel and walked toward my father on my own, leaving my crutches behind.” – Asael Shabo
Since then, Asael competed on Israel’s national wheelchair basketball team in Frankfurt, Germany! He has been profiled in countless magazines as a leader and role model for other parathletes at Sport Center for the Disabled (ISCD) where he trains in order to realize his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.
“I’m thankful to be able to say I have a lot to look forward to.” – Asael Shabo