RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Families in the Triangle continue to turn their attention to the horrors in Israel.
Many have loved ones who live there. Many also feel like they just can’t do enough to help.
But more than 6,000 miles away, people in Raleigh are doing whatever they can to help: gathering donations, supporting soldiers, and even going to Israel, themselves.
The Red Alerts, indicating rocket attacks on Israel, early Saturday morning Raleigh time, kept Michelle and Avia Feder awake.
“This is just unheard of in my lifetime,” Avia said.
Like the rest of the world, they’ve been watching the footage from Israel of the death and destruction.
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 people in Israel have been killed. Thousands of others have been injured. More than 150 people have been taken hostage by Hamas, including American citizens.
“And I think after the shock went away, we started thinking what we can do right now, and what can we do tomorrow?,” Feder explained.
Avia is a dual citizen. He was in the Israel Defense Forces. He last served in Gaza in 2014.
“My heart is there. I grew up in Israel, so I want to protect my home,” he said.
He volunteered to be put on the reserve list. That call, bringing him back to Israel, will be coming any day.
“I appreciate his heroism and his bravery. I admire him wholeheartedly. But I also want him here,” Michelle said. “I want him here with me. We have two young kids. I have a two-year-old and four-month-old.”
Michelle has been working tirelessly to do her part.
“There are over 300,000 reservists in Israel right now in need of tactical gear. They need ceramic vests, they need ballistic helmets and arms,” she said.
She’s been trying to coordinate getting much needed equipment, gathering donations, supplies, and even letters to send to soldiers.
“You don’t even have to know anybody in Israel to just bear witness to what is circulating across social media and feel for these people,” said Feder. “These are civilians that we’re talking about and so are people that are defending the country. They deserve to have some sort of support and comfort.”
The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary is in the process of coordinating a letter writing campaign. They’ve also set up direct links for emergency aid, and also advise people willing to donate can also donate to Friends of the IDF.
Anyone looking to volunteer can contact them via their website or phone.