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Jewish Charity Delivers Over 13,500 Meals To Vulnerable Families During Pandemic

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Jewish Charity Delivers Over 13,500 Meals To Vulnerable Families During Pandemic

A Jewish charity has delivered over 13,500 meals to vulnerable families since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Rabbi Sandor Milun is the Managing Director of GIFT, a community-based charity that works in London and Manchester.

For over 16 years, the group has worked to promote the importance of volunteering and offering support to those who need it the most.

And when lockdown was announced back in March 2020, Sandor and his small team of volunteers dedicated all their time, working day and night, to making sure families didn't go without, children's education didn't suffer, and NHS staff had the essentials.

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GIFT has delivered over 13,500 meals to vulnerable families during the pandemic. Credit: Supplied
GIFT has delivered over 13,500 meals to vulnerable families during the pandemic. Credit: Supplied

Speaking to LADbible, Sandor said he and his team just had to do what they could to help and that they got to work as quickly as they could.

The 46-year-old said: "At the beginning of Covid last March, it feels like so long ago, GIFT created a number of community support initiatives, which we rolled out the day we went into lockdown.

"We saw the massive need: people were vulnerable, shielding, getting sick and we wanted to mobilise the community to get giving - to be there. "

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Since then, GIFT and its army of over 3,000 volunteers have delivered more than 5,100 NHS gratitude packs, filled with essentials like lip balm, water, and shower gel, and provided over 100 laptops and iPads for home schooling.

The charity also created a virtual tutoring service, enlisting over 500 students to teach kids that needed extra support.

Rabbi Sandor Milun says thousands of volunteers offered their support. Credit: Supplied
Rabbi Sandor Milun says thousands of volunteers offered their support. Credit: Supplied

It also ran classes in more than 100 schools, universities, and youth groups, with 765 online sessions reaching over 7,500 participants.

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GIFT also paired school children with people living in care homes, with the kids writing more than 12,400 personalised letters, which were sent across the country.

Sandor explained: "The GIFT team has less than 15 staff and during the height of the first lockdown, there was seven staff working. It is a privilege to work with them all and they are super dedicated and have gone way beyond their contractual obligations.

"At beginning of July, I spoke with four colleagues who had since March collectively done over 500 hours of overtime. They sometimes were literally working through the night."

NHS staff received care packages with essentials like water, shower gel, and even a thank you note. Credit: Supplied
NHS staff received care packages with essentials like water, shower gel, and even a thank you note. Credit: Supplied
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He added: "Just before lockdown, we created a WhatsApp group, within hours we had three full WhatsApp groups and we used already existing databases to encourage others - we ended up with over 3,600 volunteers getting involved, the vast majority doing multiple things.

"Our call centre (volunteers) for the WhatsApp groups were receiving shopping requests and they were receiving often 10 to 15 messages within one minute of people replying and offering their help."

Sandor said he has been 'overwhelmed' by the sheer generosity shown by his volunteers, but that the work is still ongoing.

He said: "It was overwhelming at first. I think we all as citizens realised that after the initial panic, this was more about the 'we' than the 'me'."

Featured Image Credit: Supplied/LADbible

Topics: covid, lockdown, Pandemic, Inspirational, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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