I found WIZO by researching organizations online when I decided I wanted to go to Israel to volunteer. Having a background in aiding at risk populations, I was immediately struck by WIZO’s mission and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Through the Jewish Agency, I connected with WIZO and subsequently the World Fundraising Department in Tel Aviv.
Every day I worked at WIZO was a wonderful experience. I was privileged to learn the interworking of the organization and the crucial connection between the Diaspora Federations with the lives of disadvantaged Israelis, along with how the World Fundraising Department truly is the bridge between the two. During my internship, I was able to learn many aspects of fundraising, including the grant procedure.
I Travelled with WIZO staff to conduct a few site visits, where I saw the field in action, including the remodeling of a community center in Ramat Gan to the fully functioning and multifaceted Hadassim Youth Village. As a result, I was able to see a holistic picture of all of the operational steps that give opportunity to many, many people of all ages in Israel. Moreover, working for the Fundraising team became a warm, home-like place for me while I was miles away from my family. I feel that even after having come back to the United States, I will continue a relationship with them forever.
Since interning at WIZO, I have continued to give back to at risk populations by being part of the Social Action Committee at my Synagogue and being the organizer for monthly dinners to feed the homeless. I also continue to support organizations that help to reduce the risks associated with disadvantaged youth and help to provide education to this population because I believe in my heart that education and support are the keys to giving youth the opportunity to succeed.
Nicole Whitaker – California, USA