LEAWOOD, Kan. — As the war in Israel continues, the city of Leawood, Kansas, approved a $25,000 donation to its Israeli sister city, Gezer.
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“It was something we didn’t even think twice about,” said Council Member Andrew Osman. "That’s part of what a sister city is, to be there through thick and thin.”
KSHB 41's Abby Dodge spoke with Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and Council Member Osman in Gezer Park, named after the sister city.
Dunn said they used funds earmarked for visits to Gezer that never happened during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the sizable donation.
“It feels rewarding and we feel very fortunate (to donate), but we are still very concerned about the situation in Israel,” Dunn said. “We are watching the news daily, sometimes hour by hour to see what is happening.”
The donation will go through the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City (JFGKC) to help with humanitarian efforts. Donations will not go to military or government programs.
The federation said it has raised $2.8 million locally with donations still rolling in.
JFGKC Chief Planning Officer Andi Milens said the needs in the region are significant.
“Our purpose is to meet as many humanitarian needs as possible,” said Milens.
Milens said the donation from Leawood will purchase a portable bomb shelter for Kindergarteners who have not consistently attended school since the start of the war on Oct. 7 due to a lack of safe shelter at schools.