But Purim is not just for kids. All of the Free Restaurants were colorfully decorated, and hosted
Purim parties complete with music and holiday treats. Festive meals were served at each
location so that Meir Panim patrons would have a place to attend and eat for the holiday.
The Or Akiva youth club launched a new initiative, led by Ilanit Hafuta, the club’s director. The
children of the Club collected toys from residents and businesses throughout the city for the
needy children of Or Akiva. The objective was to teach the children, many of them recipients of
Meir Panim’s help, not just to receive but to give. The children felt empowered to not just be
on the receiving end, and to be able bring joy to other needy children. They managed to collect
hundreds of toys and games, and managed the distribution as well.
The kids testified as to how wonderful this experience was for them. As one child put it, “When I grow up, I want to be Ilanit. It is so much fun to give!”