As Chanukah approaches, heads of low-income families are feeling that familiar sinking sensation as their children begin to describe the kinds of things they hope to receive as gifts for the upcoming holiday — things they know they won’t be able to afford to buy them.
Sadly, there are thousands of Jews who dread the holidays: people who have lost loved ones, people with limited finances and too many obligations to fulfill, and others who simply cannot decide between holiday foods, decorations or gifts. Sometimes there just isn’t enough to buy all three and even a child who understands that reality suffers from it.
Some groups try to help by distributing gifts and holiday foods in abundance — but such organizations also need the resources with which to purchase those items. This is only one reason for the IsraelGives campaign.
The organizers of IsraelGives say they hope to shatter the country’s one-day record for online donations this Tuesday (Dec. 1).
The initiative is part of GivingTuesday, an event launched in 2012 as a “social alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”
The global initiative itself today involves 12 countries promoting charitable giving on the first Tuesday that follows the two most commercial days of the shopping year.
Last year GivingTuesday raised a record $46 million globally, a 63 percent hike from the previous year. The 2014 GivingTuesday in Israel also did well, raising more than NIS 1 million for Israeli causes in a single day.
The main website for giving in the Jewish State since 2009 is IsraelGives.
“As a global movement for giving, GivingTuesday is powered by people who want to give back to their communities. In Israel, where giving is part and parcel of our culture and values, there’s no telling how much we can raise for our homegrown non-profit organizations, said Yonatan Ben-Dor, CEO of IsraelGives, the main facilitator of charitable giving to Israel, and official Israeli coordinator of GivingTuesday.
Over the last 6 years, we have helped to transform the culture of public giving in Israel. Instead of relying solely on donors from abroad, Israelis have stepped up to take care of their own,” Ben-Dor said. “Our small social business is proud to be sending over NIS 40 million this year to Israeli non-profit organizations, more than almost any company in Israel.”Hana Levi Julian