Some 450 men, women and children gave up time to help others over the festive period in Tikun’s most successful Light up a Life scheme yet.
Having already celebrated Chanucah, Jewish community members volunteered over Christmas and the New Year, going on “chocolate drops” to hospitals, making treats for policemen and firemen working over the holidays and providing transport for care home staff. Volunteers also brought seasonal cheer by running activities at centres operated by Norwood and mental health charity Jami, or helping staff serve up lunch on Christmas Day at a Jewish Care home.
In addition, clothes and toys were donated for a packathon, with the toys dispatched to Barnet Hospital’s children’s ward and warm clothes and toiletries distributed to the homeless.
Other Tikun volunteers were outdoors working with the Simon Community, an organisation helping London’s homeless. Ann Stanton joined a morning tea run in a Simon Community van. She said the volunteers “got as much out of the day as we put in”.
Jewish Care head of volunteering and community development Sonia Douek described Tikun’s support as “invaluable. Christmas volunteers not only help staff to get to work by giving them lifts. It shows them that the community cares about them and the work they do for us.”
Tikun’s Jo Hyams pointed out that the sixth year of Light up a Life was “our biggest by far. I’m delighted.”