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Jewish community delivering gifts to first responders, healthcare workers

Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 24, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Christmas Eve, members of the Jewish community will be making 112 stops around Omaha, dropping off 256 gift boxes and handwritten thank you cards to the people keeping the community safe during the holidays.

“We deliver to police stations, to fire stations, to nursing homes, to emergency vets, to air traffic control, anyone who works that can save a life," said Linda Saltzman.

Saltzman began Operation Grateful Goodies four years ago, and now members of several synagogues are working together on the project.

“Helping your neighbor, welcoming the stranger, these are all elements that are really the core of Judaism," Saltzman said.

Healthcare workers will also be on the list of stops for the volunteers.

“Particularly for our healthcare workers, things are so difficult and so stressful, that just to get a little something that says, ‘We are thinking of you, we care about you and really thank you for all that you do,'" Saltzman said. "It really goes a long way.”

Normally, packages are delivered on Christmas Day, but with it falling on a Saturday, the volunteers are making their deliveries on Christmas Eve.

“We appreciate them being away from their families during the holidays, because we know that’s difficult and that its just not overlooked," Saltzman said. "But we want the message to be not just today, but everyday.”

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