NEW YORK, N.Y., July 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation announced an emergency relief effort in response to the immediate and growing crisis affecting the children and families of the Israel Tennis Centers in southern Israel, the region hardest hit by the rockets that continue to rain down.
With Hamas firing thousands of rockets into Israel in the past two weeks, Israel's children are again experiencing the trauma and all too familiar effects of attacks on their communities. Summer camps at the ITC Beer Sheva, Ofakim and Ashkelon have been closed, leaving these children at home or on the streets unprotected. As the violence continues to escalate, the need to move them out of harm's way grows stronger with each passing day.
To minimize the serious short-term and long-term implications and to protect its children, the Israel Tennis Centers launched an emergency campaign, Operation Safe Haven, to evacuate over 200 children from its three southern tennis centers to its northern centers and install additional bomb shelters which are needed at its centers in the middle of the country. During these difficult times, families in Haifa, Yokneam, Tiberias, Akko and Kiryat Shmonah have offered to open up their homes to children whom they don't even know for as long as necessary.
The children will participate in summer camp with their friends in the northern centers, and will be entertained and distracted with special events and social activities to keep their minds from the danger surrounding their homes in the south. This extraordinary initiative is necessary to secure the safety of these children and to provide them with respite from the barrage of missiles.
"To live under the specter of blaring sirens and rocket attacks is extraordinarily terrifying for anyone, but especially for children who see our centers as a safe and nurturing place to go," said Jacqueline Glodstein, ITC Vice President/Global Development, who joined the children in running to the shelters during missile attacks this month. "It is our responsibility to take these young people away from this danger and give them back a sense of stability for as long as the crisis lasts. That is why this initiative is so vital to their overall health and well-being."
A special 'Donate Now' page for Operation Safe Haven has been set up for the express purpose of covering the specific needs of transporting, feeding and entertaining our children and staff. The link can also be found on the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation website (http://www.israeltenniscenters.org) and Facebook page.
About the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation:
The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation (ITC) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that works tirelessly through the medium of sport to enhance the development of Israeli youth. Since opening its first center in Ramat Hasharon in 1976, the ITC has helped over 400,000 children, many of whom come from outlying development towns throughout Israel. The ITC's 14 centers stretch from Kiryat Shmona on the Lebanese border in the North to Beer Sheva bordering the Negev Desert in the South. http://www.israeltenniscenters.org.
ITC Vice President/Global Development
ITC Global Director of Marketing
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Israel Tennis Centers Richard Weber +1 646-884-7410