ISRAEL BONDS COMMUNITY RELIEF PROJECTS
GIFT in the United Kingdom
The GIFT of Connection
Rabbi Sandor Milun, UK
The connection between GIFT and Israel Bonds is a relatively new one. With the advent of COVID-19, our community can reflect on what has been a unique journey from the somewhat challenging weeks before Pesach. Two months on, we have developed many wonderful relationships because of the unique situation we now find our world in – the relationship between GIFT and Israel Bonds is truly a powerful symbiosis between a charity and a forward-thinking corporation.
“Our main aim is to educate and inspire a culture of giving,
shifting attitudes and ultimately behaviour towards all aspects of giving.”
GIFT stands for Give It Forward Today. Our main aim is to educate and inspire a culture of giving, shifting attitude sand ultimately behaviour towards all aspects of giving.
In recent times, a spirit of giving has blossomed. This includes a focus on others and kindness has become the buzzword. Ten weeks ago, GIFT initiated the GIFT of Connection response to Covid-19. Through GIFT, thousands of people within the community have responded to ensure that anyone that contacted GIFT needing assistance would be cared for. GIFT mobilized over one thousand volunteers who have stood up extraordinarily by collecting prescriptions, delivering medication and essential shopping; they have packed and delivered thousands of food support parcels for the over 335 households that are provided with weekly packages.
A tutoring club with over 160 pairs has been established online, ‘cards with care’ - making beautifully decorated personalized cards for care home residents. The NHSOS project provides thousands of gratitude packs to NHS staff, organizing laptops, toys, books and flowers for families in need. In addition, the project supplies colourful posters and decorations for hospitals and care homes, and telephone befriending for the elderly and isolated so that they don’t feel alone.
One of the recent initiatives GIFT undertook was the distributing of catered meals for those too unwell or unable to cook for themselves. Israel Bonds recognized the need, responded, and through a partnership with Ben Tenenblat caterers provided over 630 meals for families pre-Shavuot. This incredible kindness ensured that many families enjoyed the festival with delicious meals.
We look forward to further collaboration with Israel Bonds in the future. Onwards and upwards.
Rabbi Sandor Milun, is the Managing Director of GIFT and lives in London, UK
PHOTO: Rabbi Sandor Milun
The GIFT of community
Joe Ozer, UK
In March 2020 the world changed. Only time will tell if it will change forever or if this change will be temporary. Israel Bonds, the organisation that I’m proud to work for, managed to pivot very well and very quickly – making sure that we would be able to provide plenty of online content to a world that has gone indoors. Our truly global reach was really shining through in this terrible period, and as great as that was – this was not the action that I’m most proud of.
“The international team wanted
to immediately help our local communities.”
As we realised that a good portion of our operational budget was going to be saved after cancelling plans for live events, we as the international team wanted to immediately help our local communities. Plans were thought out in Germany, France, Mexico, Brazil and of course here in the UK – all with their own and equally important needs.Everyone’s plans were tailored to their community.
In the UK, we had thought long about how to help, and we understood that there will be three major pillars that are going to suffer. First was local business, then was charity and third were individual members of the community. We wanted to come up with a plan that can help all three and have the biggest impact we could.
After seeing that Ben Tenenblat, a local Kosher caterer, prepared free meals for the NHS, we realised that we could help all three pillars at once. We would purchase food from the local caterer, thus supporting a business in the decimated hospitality industry. We would donate the food to a charity, who would in turn distribute this food to the needy in our community.
We chose the charity GIFT to donate the food to. We really connected to their cause of Giving It Forward Today and we were excited to forge a sponsorship deal with them that will not only feed the families that they support, but will add co-branded events so that we could highlight what they do to a new audience.
Once we crunched the numbers, Ben Tenenblat cooked 633 meals for us to distribute on the festival of Shavuot for some of the neediest families in our community. We really felt that we are embodying the cause of GIFT by paying forward to our community – through charity and business.
Joe Ozer, is the Executive Director of Israel Bonds in the United Kingdom
PHOTO: 8original and Ben Tenenblat