Shoshana Dresner Staff Profile16/03/20
1)Tell us your personal GIFT journey: How long have you been at GIFT, how and when did you first get involved with GIFT?
I was teaching in JFS and used to see Shira coming in to do Lunch and Do’s which is a programme where the students make things for different charitable causes. I loved what she was doing so had my eye on GIFT for a while! Shira also invited me a GIFT gala dinner and soon after that I started to volunteer as a driver, liaising with Michelle and picking up left over food from Tesco’s. The rest is history and I’m now in my 3rd year at GIFT!
2)Describe your role, what do you do?
My role at GIFT is an ‘informal educator’. I am involved in the planning and delivery of educational sessions with one goal: to educate about and inspire giving!
If I am passionate about something, I love to share it with others. To be able to have a job that is teaching about kindness is an amazing and quite unique opportunity!
3)What is your favourite programme or session that you run at the moment?
At the moment my favourite course that we are running is the ‘Gift Giving’ course which we are delivering for Year 6 students to learn how to give in all different types of relationships. One of my other favourite programmes is learning the ins and outs of ‘giving and taking’ with a group of girls in year 10 based on the teachings of Rav Dessler.
Recently we there was a great initiative where a primary school collected the items for a recipe and made recipe boxes so that GIFT recipients could have an easy to make meal. In addition to a bag of food some of our recipients will get a box with an easy to make recipe ready for them as a result of these children’s efforts! We love teaching that giving is a skill like any other. It is so lovely to see the thoughtful notes that the children write alongside the gifts.
4)Share any thought you’d like, more advice or anything you want to close with. Something regarding how young people should get involved with charity would be great as well.
I love describing kindness as a muscle that we all have. A ‘kindness muscle’. If you keep exercising it, then the muscle keeps growing, and you will become a kinder, more giving person. When volunteers enter our warehouse to pack food bags for people in need, they are essentially entering a kindness ‘gym’!
Once you make it your mission to look for opportunities to do acts of kindness, small and big, suddenly you will notice them everywhere. Grab them and keep building that muscle! The beauty of giving is that you change other people’s lives, and yourself at the same time.
Pirkei Avot 1:14