What’s a hero? A person who is admired for his or her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. A hero can be anyone—a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or friend. But it doesn’t have to be someone you know. Often, the person who makes the most significant impact, is an unsung hero.
Whose hero do you want to be—a family member’s, a friend’s, a struggling stranger’s, the future generation’s, or even another hero’s?
This holiday season you can be all of those—with a single sapling.
The Holocaust was one of the most horrific times in history. Families were separated in spite of their attempts to stay together. Or they willfully separated in order to stay alive. Whatever the circumstances, one thing was clear—the drive to preserve their lives and the lives of those they loved consumed their every thought during the Holocaust.
Meet the Verdoner family. Living in Hilversum with 3 children, Gerrit and Hilde Verdoner began making history and a home together in 1933.
As the family grew, so did the acts of anti-Semitism all around them. With broken hearts, Hilde and Gerrit decided to put the children in hiding to spare their lives.
Just over 10 years after what was likely one of Hilde’s most memorable moments, her wedding day, she was gassed in Auschwitz. Her children and Gerrit were believed to survive.
Read more of their story HERE.
Today, survivors just like the Verdoner children—Yoka, Francisca, and Otto—are still living in Israel with the horrors of separation and emotional scars—the ones that take so long to heal. Years have gone by and, though the survivors will never forget the tragedy, and neither will we… heroes have stepped in to honor the memories of loved ones lost during the torturous time. At the same time, the sponsored trees help provide basic needs to the aging population.
Read more about honoring a victim of the Holocaust and blessing the survivors HERE!
Farming is one of the hardest and most humble ways of living. It is not a profession for the weak. Farming is something necessary to the survival of all, yet fewer and fewer are taking on this legendary work.
The work of these few affects families, cities, countries, and regions. What happens when farming decreases? How does this impact us?
It’s a question we need to ask, as hard as it may be. The kibbutz farmers in Israel settled in the nation before its inception—and are still hard at work. But work hasn’t gotten easier over time; they’ve had to develop innovative ways to continue this vital role.
Though the population on kibbutzim dwindled in the 80s, the communal lifestyle persevered.
Recently, there has been a reemergence of the timeless approach to live in such camaraderie. Families and children play a vital role and are still the focus of such communities.
The kibbutz farmers themselves could be seen as heroes—but heroes who could use the help of a fellow hero. The trees My Olive Tree plants in the kibbutzim give the workers, their families and children, and their communities an opportunity to harvest olive trees for hundreds of years—and they reap 100% of the profit.
While many of the farmers are not recognized for their hard work, they look upon the tree sponsorships as one of the greatest and most honorable gifts of recognition they could receive—a future for them and their families.
What does a hero look like to you? Does he or she don sturdy attire that depicts a sense of safety, strength, and courage?
Whether you are young or old, a simple picture of a soldier, standing with a certain confidence in his or her assignment, evokes unexplainable emotion.
The selfless service for humanity, the fight for survival, and the legacy left behind emanate from the still picture of a soldier.
To the soldiers on the IDF army bases, the olive trees they plant, care for, and see every day reveal to them who their heroes are.
The olive tree represents peace, security, respect, and honor for the IDF soldier. Under the olive tree is a place of peace where two unsung heroes meet to stand together in unity and fight for what is right.
Be a hero to a hero this holiday. Your gift isn’t something that perishes as the season passes, but bears more fruit as it grows, blessing the soldier all year.
Leave the gift of legacy
Do you have someone on your list whom you want to honor and don’t know how? Planting a tree in the soil of the ancient Promise Land gives life and legacy to those who have uniquely influenced your life.
At My Olive Tree, we’ve heard stories of those who sponsor and use olive trees—as they live 500 years or more—as a way to keep the memory of a loved one alive. Those who sponsor know they are passing on blessings to many in Israel and a legacy to those in their own family.
The unique gift of an olive tree planted in Holy Land ground, whether it’s a small, green sapling or a tall, mature tree does and says so much. It’s a legacy that cannot be forgotten. It’s a movement to honor, bless, and defend a hero.
If you want to see the names of others just like you who have become a hero, visit our Wall of Honor. Someone out there doesn’t know it yet, but their life is about to be blessed because of your generosity and courage—consider being their hero today!
Check out our Miracle Special HERE and be a part of something bigger!