WJR drive 2,000km to give aid to communities

Volunteers Joe Gerrard and Mark Gershinson with young WJR clients

Volunteers Joe Gerrard and Mark Gershinson with young WJR clients

World Jewish Relief volunteers have driven 2,000 kilometres across Europe to deliver two nine-seater vans to deprived Jewish communities.

Leaving from London, the volunteers travelled to Lithuania and Latvia as part of WJR's Mission Impossible, having raised the money for the vans, which were handed over in Vilnius and Riga.

On her fourth Mission Impossible, Hampstead housewife Siobhan Ezra was the group's sole female volunteer.

"When you give money to charity, you don't normally know how much goes to the project," she said. "But with this trip, you know exactly where it goes and it helps make a massive difference."

Mission Impossible co-founder Jimmy Strauss said that through its efforts, "we have been able to reach out to communities in the former Soviet Union who desperately need our help".

Since 2003, almost £300,000 has been brought in, with each volunteer raising up to £5,000 to cover the purchase of the vans. It is part of WJR's Gifts in Kind programme, which over the past two years has sent £7 million worth of essential items to Jews in Eastern Europe.

Last updated: 12:49pm, May 21 2010