A Borehamwood family has responded to the coronavirus crisis by attempting to raise up to £100,000 to deliver food and supplies to the elderly and NHS workers across London.
By Tuesday, the Corona Care Challenge’s GoFundMe page had received over £39,000 in donations.
The Landesberg family launched the emergency initiative in memory of Alan Landesberg, who died two weeks ago.
“My grandfather was a very charitable man, heavily involved in the Community Security Trust, Norwood and Jewish Care, so we wanted to do something he would be proud of,” said Emma Miller, who created the project with her cousins and siblings.
The family have to date delivered care packages to around 150 vulnerable or self-isolating families, as well as to six hospitals and a homeless shelter in Watford.
Ms Miller, who is making deliveries along with five friends in Bushey, was dropping off 30 packages on Tuesday. Her sister, cousins and aunt are helping to co-ordinate deliveries elsewhere.
The packages include toilet rolls, toiletries, washing tablets, tea and coffee, tinned food, as well as products such as rice, noodles, crisps and chocolate. Baby food, nappies and pet food have been added where families have young children or animals.
Ms Miller estimates that each package has a value of around £30, although larger families receive more.
“The problem we are facing is that though we can manage what we’ve got, demand is getting higher daily. We can’t go to Ocado and say: ‘Can we have a delivery tomorrow?’ You’ve got to wait three weeks. We’ve got to go to the supermarkets ourselves and source as much as we can. “We’re exposing ourselves where we should be able to get everything delivered.”
Ms Miller has been producing daily videos for Facebook and Instagram “to update people with what we’re doing. [They] like to see where their money is going.” She estimated that 85 to 90 per cent of deliveries were to Jewish households and that Jews accounted for a similar percentage of donors.
Despite the measures announced on Monday by Boris Johnson, the volunteers are ploughing ahead. “He said we could still help vulnerable people.
“We’ll do as much as we can for as long as we can. If we can’t, then we’ll donate the money back to the NHS workers keeping this country going.”
You can see the GoFundMe fundraiser here: www.gofundme.com/f/corona-care-challenge