Walker Middle School’ 8th grade students were visited by two Holocaust survivors to tell their story of one of the greatest horrors in history. Six million Jews, and millions of others who were declared enemies of Nazi, Germany, were killed.
“The bunks were about the size of a single bed,” Holocaust survivor Rene Hammond described for the students. “Six people were assigned to each bunk, which means we couldn’t lie down. We could just sit.”
Our Holocaust Survivor Program provides in-home care and emergency financial assistance to Tampa Bay area survivors. Funding from grants and foundations provide some assistance, however, to fully meet the needs of the survivors, the program needs $1 million in additional funds.
Our youngest of Holocaust survivors are now in their 70s, while the oldest are in their 90s and even a few over 100. About 30 percent of survivors live below the poverty level and 240 registered survivors live in the area served by Gulf Coast, with 100 receiving in-home care.
“The whole gist of our program is to keep them in their homes as long as possible with assistance in activities of daily living, They may be re-traumatized if placed in an institutional setting. It’s very similar to what they experienced in concentration camps and ghettos.”
Holocaust survivor, Lia Volfson, said she loves the young woman who comes to her home in Tarpon Springs to do light cleaning, prepare meals, run errands and drive her to appointments.
“This girl, when she comes, she’s like part of the family,” said Volfson, who was 3 when a German-allied Romanian guard her mother had bribed threw her over the fence of the Belyaevka Ghetto in Ukraine, freeing her.
Donate to Gulf Coast’s Holocaust Survivor Program by clicking this link – donate now and put Holocaust Survivor Program in the notes or you may send a check to Holocaust Survivor Program, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760
This post has been updated to include the visit of Holocaust survivors to Walker Middle School’.
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