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February 28-March 2, 2023

Heels of Love 2023: Timna Park

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 28, 2023
0% raised of $100000

The 2023 Heels of Love hike will take place February 28-March 2, 2023 around the Park Timna area.

Participants can choose to hike for either two or three days of hiking. Sleeping is in a deluxe campsite.

There are different routes depending on ability.

You can register now and have until November 1, 2022 to pay the $400 fee.

Details


Group A

The Group A routes averages 8+ hours of hiking/day with just a few breaks. The terrain can be challenging with steep climbs and descents and sections of loose rock. Distance is more than 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) per day with hikes starting soon after sunrise and finishing just before dark. The pace is a brisk walking pace. Hikers should be in strong physical shape and have experience with all day hikes.

ROUTE MAPS COMING SOON. 

Group B

The Group B hikes are not easy. However, there are more frequent breaks to rest and learn about the areas we are hiking. There are steep ascents and descents, though not as physically demanding than those in the Group A hike. Distance averages around 8 kilometers (5 miles) per day. Actual hiking — not included breaks — is 5-6 hours/day. Pace is a moderate walking pace.

Since both groups camp together, one can switch from one day to the next. If you are at all unsure which route to do, we encourage you to do Group B on the first day. If you feel that you could do a harder hike, just let us know the first evening at the campsite. This is much preferable to joining Group A and finding yourself unable to keep the pace.

ROUTE MAPS COMING SOON!

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:

  • Deluxe trekking dry-fit shirt.

  • 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 those hiking three days and $2,000 for those hiking for two days. Discounts for couples: $5,000 combined for three days $3,500 for two.

You can register and wait until November 1, 2022 to pay the fee.

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 February 1, 2023. 

 

 

The 2022 Heels of Love Hike

Maayan Aviv is the Director of American Friends of ALYN and joined the 2022 Heels of Love Hike.

DAY ONE:

Off the plane from the US on Monday and off the bus for the start on the hike on Tuesday morning. Both jetlagged and excited. Was I even ready for this? I’m a runner. I do yoga. But hiking in the desert for three days is a whole other ballgame, as they say!

My decision to join in Heels of Love was a last-minute one. I needed things to align on the US-side to make it happen. And here I was. Hiking boots and Heels of Love t-shirt, and I was ready to go.

I met up with the other 29 participants in the Scenic Route. This would be my team for the day. We took a long bus ride to the starting point. We spent the morning on a 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. Our guide, Keren, was awesome.

In the late afternoon, we joined with the Adventure Route, ate delicious food and had some wine. The evening ended with a speech by Dr. Maurit Beeri, Director General of ALYN. It was an intimate gathering to learn not only about the work of ALYN hospital but also get to know the people behind the scenes.

We made our way back to our tents, underneath the beautiful desert sky. My head hit my pillow and I slept heavily, with excitement about what Day Two held for me.

Read Maayan’s full account

 

Mark Keil has participated in Heels of Love for three straight years. (So far!)

He put together this photo essay showing all three days of the 2022 Heels of Love hike.

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.


YITZHAK: A MOTHER'S THANKS

Raizy Wachsman wrote two whole pages of thanks to the staff at ALYN Hospital after her son, Yitzhak, had been referred to ALYN for rehabilitation in the fall of 2020 after being hit by a car while crossing a busy road. Yitzhak had sustained multiple injuries, including a rib fracture and a severe fracture in his femur. His leg had to be stabilized with metal rods into the bone from both sides of his knee to the pelvis. While his rehabilitation process originally began at the local Kupat Cholim, Yitzhak was soon after referred to ALYN. “From our first meeting at ALYN with Dr. Michal, we immediately felt assured that Yitzi’s case would really be taken to heart!” said Raizy.

After many months of slow progress, after Purim, Yitzhak had surgery to remove the rods and he is now slowly regaining movement and independence.  READ HERE

RAZ BEN DAVID: FORMER ALYN PATIENT, STRIKING A POSITIVE CHORD

Raz Ben David experienced a spinal cord infarction, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors who diagnosed him at a general hospital thought the damage was so severe that he would not walk again. The following month, Raz was referred to ALYN Hospital for rehabilitation. Turns out he is one of only 33 people in the world who have had this specific type of spinal cord infarction. As far as we know, no other known patient with this specific condition is reported to have mobility except for Raz.

At ALYN, he received intense physical therapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as psychological support for both him and his parents. Raz’s father says about the staff at ALYN, “The people here are amazing, truly amazing. They are giving, caring, genuinely concerned and do their very best.”  READ MORE

SHIMON’S JOURNEY TO RECOVERY

Shimon is almost 12 years old and is a triplet! He was born healthy and remained healthy until he started having back pains earlier this year. After going to the doctor and having a number of tests including an MRI, the doctors discovered that he had a malformation of the blood vessels leading to his spinal cord. Due to complications of the surgery, he was left paralyzed from the waist down (paraplegic).

When Shimon came to ALYN Hospital in April 2019 (just a few days before Pesach), he was not able to hold his own body weight to sit up at all. He needed a specialized wheelchair that supported his entire body in a sitting position.

Today, after a tremendous amount of effort working in various therapies, especially physiotherapy, Shimon is now able to use a regular wheelchair. He also has intensive occupational therapy, hydrotherapy and psychological treatment, and he learns in the ALYN Hospital Learning Center within the Rehabilitation Department to help him stay on target with his progress in school. His treatments are augmented by using medical clowns, virtual reality, therapeutic gardening, animal assisted therapy, art and the therapeutic sports center.

In addition to all of the above, the ALYN Hospital staff of the Learning Center as well as the social worker reached out with advice and guidance to the staff of Shimon’s school regarding what adaptations would be needed in order to re-admit him – with his wheelchair – this fall so that he can go back to his class, his teachers and his friends. He still has a long road of continued rehabilitation ahead of him, but Shimon and his family can take comfort in the knowledge that they can rely on the ALYN Hospital staff to be there for them the entire way.

DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 28, 2023
0% raised of $100000
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
February 28, 2023
0% raised of $100000
Heels of Love 2023: Timna Park