United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley would like to thank everyone who made the fifth annual Golshim L’Chaim Ski-To-Live program a huge success.
The 16 Israeli veterans enjoyed seven days of skiing, snowboarding, meeting the community and experiencing Aspen hospitality. Everyone who participated in making this program possible for these men and women could not help but feel touched by their spirit.
Below is an excerpt from a letter that was written by one of the participants (translated from Hebrew):
“I am writing this because I feel a huge need to write you and tell you how I feel after thinking about what I experienced last week. From the first moment I was on the skis, I knew it was going to be one of the most crazy experiences of my life, the feeling that you’re flying over the ground mixed with a feeling of success and accomplishment for something you thought you could never do. It is dangerous to ski when your left leg bone is missing, but my fear was replaced with a sense of warmth and love because I was surrounded by people who cared.
“On the last day, I was sure you would ask, ‘What were your highlights of the week?’ I can tell you one was the last day, skiing with eight or nine friends, instructors, snowboarders and people from the community. When I saw how they all fit together, I said to myself, ‘I do not believe the Aspen community could bring in such a huge number of disabled veterans and they are all skiing. It’s unbelievable!’ People with so many difficulties in daily life, whether these difficulties are physical or mental, and seeing how everyone is happy together, teasing each other and laughing. It was a point of transcendence! Thanks to you, they overcame their disability by putting it aside for a moment and skied toward the goal!
“This was the mission with added value. Beyond the fun and enjoyment, I left with the feeling that anyone can do it. When I looked at my friends skiing on the mountain, my heart filled with pride. As I looked at the amazing instructors, my heart was filled with admiration, and of course when I looked at the amazing community, my heart soared to heaven! This trip has taught a lot about life, competence, a lack of selfishness and that everyone can bring a smile, even if the appearance of his life is not the most glamorous one.
“I can say that in my case, something changed. Thank you! You people are far beyond good and, God willing, will continue to only prosper!
Administrative director, United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley
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