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March 8-10, 2022

Heels of Love 2022

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
March 08, 2022
$15,701
Money Raised
16% raised of $100,000

The 2022 Heels of Love hike will take place March 8-10, 2022.

Participants can choose either the challenging, three-day Adventure Route or the two-day, more moderate, Scenic Route.

Registration is now open. The fee is fully refundable if it is cancelled before March 1, 2022.

 

A Look at Heels of Love 2021:

400 AM.  It’s cold, it’s dark, and I hear footsteps right outside my tent. “Wakey, wakey,” says a whispering voice with an Israeli accent, “Time to get up.”

I roll over on my mattress and try to make out my surroundings.  Reaching out my hand to the right, I grab hold of a headlamp.  I flip the switch and a faint glow fills the green walls of my tent.  Well-worn hiking boots are in one corner, a pile of clean turquoise hiking jerseys in another.  As the fog lifts from my brain, I recollect that our group is leaving this campground at 5:00 AM to hike up Mount Shlomo.  It’s time to start getting ready. 

Read the full post on Hiking in the Holyland

Hiking routes

The Adventure Route is three days and is designed for those who enjoy a serious challenge. Hikers will cover about 14 km/9 miles a day with many steep climbs and technical passages. Hikers participating in the Adventure Route should be in good physical shape.

ROUTES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles. Elevation: 813 m/2600 ft.

Day one begins at the Eilat Seismographic Station, used for measuring earthquakes. Our first climb will take us above the hidden valley to get an aerial perspective on the area. From there, we continue south to Har Amir, with a steep climb over a short distance. Then it’s down the other side using ladders and iron rungs through the canyon to the bottom where we will meet the Scenic Route at our joint campsite by Shechoret Canyon. Although the first day’s hike is a little shorter, it’s a great way to start our adventure.

 

 

 

Distance: 17.5 km/11 miles. Elevation: 1200 m/3900 ft.

Day two’s hike is challenging. The route combines some of the most popular – and difficult – routes from the past three years. We break camp and hike through the black rock of the narrow Shechoret Canyon. Then we start to climb. The ascent of Har Shechoret is tough but the views are well worth the effort.

From Har Shechoret, we descend to Nachal Netafim. After traversing the valley, we have a moderate climb to the only spring in all of the Eilat Mountains. Using iron ladders to reach the summit of Har Yohoram, we will be able to see the our campsite and the summit of Har Shlomo in the distance. Those who choose can climb to the summit while others can head directly to the campsite.

 

Distance: 12.5 km/8 miles. Elevation: 600 m/1968 ft.

We will wake up early and head for Nachal Gishron. Many of our past hikers have said this was the most spectacular view of the whole trip.

We will conclude Heels of Love with a barbeque dinner on the Eilat Beach.

 

The Scenic Route is two days and is designed for those who want to enjoy the spectacular paths and views of the desert while walking along moderate paths. We will meet up with the Adventure Route at the Shechoret campsite.

ROUTES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Distance: 5.5 km/3.4 miles. Elevation: 258 m/846 ft.

We will take a moderate route up Har Amir along a packed dirt path. Har Amir is known for its magnificent views and offers plenty of the sandstone scenery for which the Eilat Mountains are known. Wine and a roaring campfire will greet us as we finish our day’s hike.

Distance: 8 km/5 miles. Elevation: 403 m/1322 ft.

Today we will hike through the spectacular black rock of Shechoret Canyon and ascend the challenging Har Shechoret. We will take the climb slowly with many breaks. 

The spectacular views are well worth the effort!

After one last fantastic camp meal, we board the bus to take us home.

Details

Heels of Love has two options. The Adventure Route has three days of challenging hiking. We cover around 16 km/10 miles a day with many steep ascents and descents.  There are often “ladders” — steel bars set in the rocks used to climb up or down along the trail. The three-day option requires a good level of physical fitness.

The Scenic Route is two days with more moderate hikes for those who prefer shorter distances with less climbing. There are still hills but the grades are more gradual and the paths are less technical.

Our staff and guide are there to assist you and you always have the option to finish your hike early and return to the base camp. Your health and safety are our top priority – plus we want to sure you have an amazing experience.

After a long day of hiking, nothing is more welcoming than a beautiful campsite that has already been set up by our staff. Every hiker gets his or her own tent and sleeping pad (couples can share, of course.) Tents are set up around a campfire, surrounded by comfortable futons where we can sit back and relax and share stories of the day’s adventures.

Our hot dinners are delicious and accompanied by your choice of beverages. As we sit around the campfire, special guests will inspire you with stories of the miracles that happen at ALYN every day.

 


The Desert at Night

The winter is the perfect time of year for hiking in the desert. The daytime temperatures are usually around 18-25 degrees Celsius/64-77 Fahrenheit. Nights are much colder so we strongly recommend that you bring a sleeping bag designed for lower temperatures.

Our campsites have toilets and a place for washing up and brushing teeth.

Each participant will receive:

  • One deluxe trekking dry-fit shirts for each day of hiking.

  • Roundtrip transportation between Jerusalem and Eilat.

  • Hot food for breakfast and dinner at the campsites. Lunch will be sandwiches, fruit, and snacks. All meals are certified kosher.

  • Tents and all camping needs, including a camping sleeping pad and ground cover. ALYN staff will set up the tents each night. 

  • A special dinner at the conclusion of hike.

  • A professional guide, paramedic, and ALYN staff.

Essentials

  • Comfortable hiking shoes — not sneakers, running shoes, or sandals! This is one of the most important things you will need. Your whole hiking experience will be affected by your shoes. You will be walking around 16 km/10 miles a day in your shoes, so proper footwear is a must.
  • WARM sleeping bag. While the days should be pleasant, it can be very cold in the Negev at night. Bring a sleeping bag rated to keep you warm down to freezing temperatures. You do not have to carry the sleeping bag on the hike; it will be kept in your duffel bag (see below).

Day Pack: (A medium backpack that you will carry with you on the hike):

We will give you food and bottles of water. You may choose to also have a hydration bag within your pack that you fill up from the bottles and sip while walking.

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Small plastic bag (for garbage, damp clothing, etc)
  • Pocket knife (optional)
  • Light jacket against wind or rain
  • Basic first aid items like band-aids (or other adhesive bandages) and anti-chafing cream (we will have a paramedic, but it is useful to have these on-hand)
  • Personal snacks (If there is a trail mix you just can’t live without!)
  • Alpine walking sticks (optional)
  • Phone/camera (you will be able to charge them at the campsites)
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Lip balm for sun and wind protection
  • Headlamp or flashlight

Duffel Bag

Duffel bags are much more convenient than suitcases for the hike. It is better that you put everything you will need for the campsites in the bag, including your sleeping bag. These bags will be waiting for us at the end of each day at the campsites.

In your duffel bag, you will carry:

  • Walking clothes for each day on the trail. We will be providing hiking shirts, but you should bring shorts/pants and extra t-shirts. If it is cold, you will want a base layer to go under the hiking shirt. 
  • Warm clothes for the evenings/sitting around the fire (warm jacket, hat, coat, socks, etc.)
  • Comfortable footwear for after the hike
  • Blanket
  • Plastic bag for laundry
  • Medication
  • Extra batteries for flashlight, charger for phone, etc.

 

The cost of participation is the registration fee ($400/₪ 1200) and a minimum fundraising requirement depending on which route you choose, Minimum fundraising requirements: $3,000 for the Adventure Route and $2,000 for the Scenic Route. Discounts for couples: $5,000 combined for Adventure, $3,500 for Scenic.

All contributions are tax deductible in Israeli, American, Canadian, and UK currency.

We ask that everyone raise the minimum required amount by one week before the hike. We will keep your pages open for an additional week after the hike so you can raise even more by telling your friends how amazing it was! You will be required to cover any remaining fundraising gaps.

Donations can also be made through the American Friends of ALYN Hospital office or the Canadian Friends of ALYN office.

You can cancel for a full refund until March 1, 2022. 

 

 

Your ALYN Fundraising Tool Kit

We know that for many of you, the thought of asking friends for money to fundraise for the hike is uncomfortable and might be uncharted territory. Don’t worry – fundraising is much easier and more rewarding than you might expect, especially when you are raising money for such an incredible cause. ALYN Hospital is such a unique and special place, that once you share with others about the hospital and the children receiving rehabilitation there, people will be willing to support you.

How do we know? We have nearly 20 years of experience and thousands of particpants who have successfully raised money for ALYN as proof.


Remember, the people who will sponsor you will do so because of your relationship with them. They are YOUR friends and YOUR family! They trust what you have to say. The more personal you can make the request, the better.

Start by personalizing your fundraising page. Send us a picture of yourself and a few sentences about why you are hiking (90 words or less.) It does not have to be long, what’s more important is that it comes from you. If you want to write a lot more — great! Write your story in an email that you send with your link. Let us know if you need any help.

Once you have your page set up the way you like it, send the link with an email to your contacts. You can post it on Facebook or other social media. Again, the more personal you can make the request, the more likely you are to receive a favorable response. We have a sample letter you can use (below). Make sure to tweak it and make it personal, so that the people you are asking know it is a genuine ask from you. Then follow these four steps:

  1. Aim high. Set an ambitious fundraising goal for yourself. The minimum you need to raise is either $2,000 or $3,000, but we hope you will aim for more. If you can hike through the mountains of Eilat, you can certainly go the extra mile for the children of ALYN. 
  2. Make a personal donation. Lead by example. To convince others to make a contribution, it helps to show that you are equally committed to the cause. Your registration fee helps pay for the hike logistics; donations are sent directly to the hospital.
  3. Ask friends and family. It’s easiest to start with those closest to you. Once you convey your excitement about participating in Heels of Love and they learn about ALYN, they will be happy to support you. Suggest an amount with which they would be comfortable.
  4. Expand your asking circle. If you think beyond closest family and friends, there are endless possibilities: neighbors, work colleagues and business associates, acquaintances from school, college, synagogue/church, the health club and your hiking club. If you work for a company with a matching gifts program, you may be able to multiply the effect of your gift. A basic rule of fundraising is that the main reason people give is because they have been asked by someone they know and trust. That someone is you!

Dear Friends,

I’m very excited to share with you that this February I will be participating in the Heels of Love charity hiking event, benefiting the children of ALYN Hospital. I will be hiking approximately 10 miles a day/6 miles a day through the mountains of Eilat and camping in the desert in the evenings.

ALYN is the only facility of its kind in Israel and is one of the world’s leading specialists in the active and intensive rehabilitation of children with congenital and acquired physical disabilities. ALYN changes lives and transforms disabilities into abilities. You can learn more about ALYN at www.alyn.org.

This year’s fundraising goal for Heels of Love is to raise $100,000, to bridge the shortfall gap between reimbursements and the actual costs of the high-level services provided to the children. My personal fundraising goal is $XXXX. Thank you, in advance, for being as generous as you can be.

There are two easy ways to donate:

1. Donate online with a credit card at (INSERT YOUR FUNDRAISING LINK)

2. You can also send a check to:

US Dollar Donations:

American Friends of ALYN Hospital
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 1519
New York, NY  10168

The American Friends of ALYN is a qualifying 501(c)(3) organization, and your contribution is tax deductible in the US. If you work for a company with a matching gifts program, you may be able to multiply the effect of your gift.

Israeli Shekels

ALYN Special Projects
84 Shmaryahu Levin Street, P.O.B. 9117
Jerusalem 91090 ISRAEL

Friends of ALYN Hospital has a contribution certificate from the tax authorities according to section #46 of the Income Tax regulation. Donations are tax deductible under Israeli law.

If you live elsewhere, please email the office at ALYN for options to donate in other currencies.

Thank you!

In 3 minutes, get an introduction about what makes ALYN — and the children it treats — so special. 

The work that ALYN does is inspiring. The more you can relate to your friends and family about the impact ALYN has on children, the more effective your fundraising will be.

Here are three stories that demonstrate how important ALYN has been to so many families:


Roi: Coping with Cancer

Roi is 12 years old from Jerusalem, the second of four children. He likes to play games like Legos, marbles, chess, checkers and to draw. He is an excellent student and particularly good at math.

Roi was diagnosed in January 2017 with brain cancer and came to ALYN Hospital after beginning his treatment. From the Channel 2 news broadcast: Roi started his treatment at ALYN Hospital as an inpatient in our Rehabilitation Department and is now a patient in the Day Hospitalization Department, coming for intensive therapeutic treatments four days a week. After the removal of the cancerous growth from the back of his head, he experienced serious developmental decline and didn’t talk or move for a long time.

Roi now is still too weak to walk alone or without the assistance of a walker, and uses a wheelchair for longer distances. At ALYN Hospital, Roi benefits from hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and emotional support therapies such as music & art therapy.

Since Roi has been missing regular school for many months, he also learns in our Learning Center so that he can keep up with his studies. “Hebrew and math are important to me” he says in the interview. His mother Gina says, “It wasn’t obvious that he would have his . . . anything. We had no idea what he would gain back, what he wouldn’t gain back. He loves math, so for me that’s amazing.” Later in the interview she says, “Every stage that he reaches, it’s simply a miracle.”

At the end of the interview, Roi says about his treatment at ALYN Hospital, “It helps me be myself and it helps me return to who I was before the surgery. A regular kid.”

 
Yusef's miraculous journey to rehabilitation

This article is a summary translation to English by ALYN Hospital staff of extracts of the original article, which was written by Dana Ben Shimon. Photo credit: Yoav Dodkevich.  

“It was a rainy and stormy evening, Yusef fell down an elevator shaft in the dark, like in a movie,” recalls his father, Kazem. “A neighbor said that there was a child from the Jardat family who fell in a lift,” says the father. “I went down quickly and realised that it was Yusef.

The doctors told me that they couldn’t believe that he was alive after what happened.” Yusef was taken by ambulance to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, with a large fracture that split his face in two. At Hadassah, they performed the unbelievable – they were able to put his skull back together during a complicated operation. He was later transferred to ALYN Hospital for rehabilitation, with his family accompanying him throughout the process.

“When Yusef came to ALYN Hospital, he was not able to get up,” says his father. “Twice a day he underwent physiotherapy. He also received emotional care and a lot of encouragement from the staff. 

Yusef underwent rehabilitation treatment, during which he got back on his feet and began walking again. “We had to teach him how to walk again because he had a very complicated leg fracture. He also had difficulty speaking because of the fracture in his jaw and we helped him with that as well, in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and he was helped to eat independently”, explains Yusef’s accompanying physician in the rehabilitation department of ALYN Hospital. “His head injury was significant, but he was lucky that there was no brain damage. He also had fractures in his skull, and it’s very rare for someone who has experienced such an event to recover relatively quickly.

Recently, as the rehabilitation process progressed and his condition improved, Yusef began to go to the school that was established inside ALYN Hospital and learned Hebrew and English there. 

Of course we’re happy,” says the father. “In recent months I have barely left Yusef’s side, I have been with him all along, and his situation has improved slowly, but now he will be able to return to his family. Lately, he was able to come home on weekends, but now he will finally be able to sleep at home every day. This is the biggest relief.”

Aviel's Victory Run

This article has been summarized and translated to English by ALYN Hospital staff. The original article, written by Lior El Hai, appeared in Yediot Ahronoth on 13 March 2019. Photo credit: Alex Kolomoisky.

Tomorrow, three years after Aviel Avrahamoff’s leg was nearly amputated due to an accident, he will participate in the Jerusalem 5-K Run. The accident happened in Haifa during a fun day which he spent with his family when he was six years old. A driver who accidentally accelerated instead of braking, slid into a field near the road where Aviel was walking with his family and hit him.

Aviel was seriously injured. He was transferred to Rambam Medical Center and was rushed into the operating room. “The doctor told me that the situation was complicated, and it could be possible that in the middle of the operation he would ask me to sign an agreement to amputate Aviel’s entire leg. It was shocking to me that Aviel could return home with only one leg,” recalls Aviel’s mother, Vered.

Fortunately, the operation was successful. From that point on, Aviel began a long and difficult rehabilitation process at ALYN Hospital, in his home town of Jerusalem, which is a facility designed for rehabilitation especially for children and youth.

In the beginning, Aviel couldn’t even stand on the injured leg and found it difficult to move it. Thanks to the intensive and devoted care of the team, slowly but surely he made progress. He was eventually able to stand on both legs and even joined the running group of hospitalized children.

Nurit Stern, a senior physiotherapist at ALYN Hospital, said: “We are not satisfied with the fact that the children will only learn to walk again, therefore we are instilling in them the value of sport, training and overcoming difficulties.” At the end of the rehabilitation period, Aviel returned home, but continued to train with the running team.

Update: Aviel completed the Jerusalem 5-K last year!

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
March 08, 2022
$15,701
Money Raised
16% raised of $100,000
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
March 08, 2022
$15,701
Money Raised
16% raised of $100,000
Heels of Love 2022