GIFT Sow the Seeds of Giving for the Next Generation with Gala Dinner30/07/19
GIFT were joined by 300 guests at their ‘Sowing the Seeds of Giving’ Gala Dinner at The Conservatory in the Luton Hoo Walled Garden on Sunday 2nd June. The Dinner focussed on the importance of GIFT’s work in the community; inspiring a culture of giving through education, volunteering and supporting others. The evening raised £250,000, which will go towards developing GIFT’s educational and volunteering projects.
Guests were welcomed to the Dinner by Batya Richman, who spoke movingly about her family’s experience of volunteering for GIFT’s food bank helping to support over 220 households in need.
Michelle Barnett, GIFT’s Founding Director, spoke passionately of her love of giving and her 15 year journey to inspire others to give. She expressed her excitement as GIFT steps into a new phase with the appointment of new Managing Director, Rabbi Sandor Milun.
Michelle also introduced a GIFT recipient, who sadly lost her sight to MS and who gave a personal insight into the positive way GIFT impacts her life every week; by providing ongoing assistance for her family, arranging volunteer tutoring, after school help for her children and packages of food and household goods.. She described the charity as an incredible life-line and recognised without GIFT educating about the importance of giving, she may well not have benefitted from the hundreds of volunteering hours that she had so gratefully received.
In honour of Yom Yerushaliyim, 12 year old Yoni Shine volunteered to sing Yerushaliyim Shel Zahav which he sung beautifully and was a talking point of the evening.
A film shown during the Dinner followed the stories of 3 of GIFT’s young volunteers, who inspired by GIFT, have collectively made a difference to over 5000 people. The Dinner was attended by the new GIFT Young Professionals board, Rael Chapman from Goldman Sachs expressed the board’s excitement at joining the charity and giving their time and energy to inspire their peers.
Rabbi Naftali Schiff, Founder of GIFT and Chief Executive of Jewish Futures, the family of organisations of which GIFT is a member, conveyed GIFT’s importance to the community by saying’ I’m sure that each person in the room tonight donates to at least 10-2- wonderful charities in the space of a year. Supporting GIFT is vital to the future of our community simply because it is educating, nurturing and inspiring in our younger generation the imperative of being Givers of the future!”
Rabbi Sandor Milun, Managing Director of GIFT said: “Tonight was a very special evening for me as the first dinner as GIFT’s MD. GIFT inspires a community full of involved and engaged adults and young people, through education platforms and volunteering opportunities. It is an honour to work with such an incredible team and I am so grateful for the generous support of our donors and every person who came this evening, each of whom have already begun sowing the seeds of giving to the next generation.”
Pirkei Avot 1:14