Volunteering over Christmas - there's still time to sign up

Those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire will be among those supported this year


London educational organisation Tikun will be spreading seasonal cheer to the less fortunate with its tenth annual “Light Up A Life” campaign.

Some 300 volunteering opportunities within the Jewish community and beyond will be available up to January 1.

In 2016, more than 1,200 people signed up for activities including cooking for the homeless, running social sessions at care homes and delivering donated goods to hospital staff and patients.

Project co-ordinator Sarit Gafan said, that given recent tragedies, “it is even more important to show unity and trust across faith communities, and communities in general, by taking meaningful action for the greater good. With this in mind, several activities on offer will have an interfaith focus and some will look to serve the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.”

Initiated by Tikun chief executive Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, the project is geared towards helping organisations that lose volunteers during the festive season and assisting people who need support around Christmas.

Ms Gafan pointed out: “As a community, many of us are free at this time of year and can show our gratitude to this country and society.”

Tikun — which works particularly to engage young couples — liaises closely on the project with charities such as Jewish Care and Gift, as well as with the Jewish Volunteering Network.

Victoria Woolf plans to volunteer with her seven-year-old daughter Emillie for the third time this year.

“My daughter is an only child and I originally wanted to do something where I could show her that life doesn’t just revolve around her,” she said.

In the past, they have delivered chocolate to hospitals and distributed charity leaflets.

They are signed up to do another chocolate drop, and also to pack donations for Gift.

“I think it’s really good and would encourage any parent to do it,” she added. “It’s just an hour or so of your time for a worthy cause.”

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