An incredible effort to help those in most in need at this time of global crisis is being exerted in every corner of the globe – no more or less than in our own community. Finding a way to deliver 3 weeks of non-Pesach and Pesach food to over 300 households in a single week, operating within government guidelines was highly challenging, but that was accomplished largely in part to the incredible volunteers who went way above and beyond to help.
Due to the extreme circumstances of the last few week, the GIFT team have worked tirelessly to coordinate the efforts of over 800 volunteers who contacted GIFT within hours of the request for urgent volunteer support. The speed in which the COVID 19 Coronavirus is spreading is frightening, yet the speed in which the volunteers responded to give of themselves in such a critical time has been remarkable and inspiring.
Within this short period there has been an unprecedented upsurge of households who are struggling financially, registering with GIFT’s Food Bank with a nearly 15% rise in registrations. This figure is predicated to increase steadily in the future.
In addition, GIFT has coordinated over 460 volunteer requests to provide shopping and prescriptions from households with vulnerable, sick, isolated and elderly people. Many of the volunteers that are either self-isolating or unable to leave home and have also been connecting with residents of care homes with over 100 letters being sent and hundreds of well-being phone calls to the elderly being made. In addition, over 50 hot meals were delivered to doorsteps, generously provided by JAMI.
Before the lock-down was in place and social distancing had not yet become a societal norm, volunteers also created and delivered over 3040 care packages and boxes of useful goods such as hand creams and chocolate to NHS staff in local hospitals. The team at GIFT are enormously thankful at this time to everyone who has been there to give to others in whatever capacity they have been able and will continue to do make our most serious endeavours to support our community through this very challenging time. To volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about GIFT’s services and new online education visit jgift.org.