This week participants of the new young professionals programme ‘Aish Unfiltered’ got together to enjoy a bagel brunch at the home of Rabbi Moshe and Liat Mayerfeld in West Hampstead, before preparing ‘survival packs’ to be distributed among London’s homeless population.
The packs included: hats, socks, first aid kits, sleeping bags, pillow, mattress and raincoats and were funded by a separate online crowdfunding campaign called ‘Change a Life’ that successfully raised over £700 in just a week.
Participants split into teams of 2 and 3 and gave out over 30 packs as well as some hot soup in the Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square areas, sharing stories, laughter and tears with some inspiring people who have experienced much hardship in life.
Two of the volunteers, Jade Fox and Chen Pomeranz commented: “It was so moving to see how a simple act of kindness can help enrich someone’s life. It is so important to make a conscious effort to proactively help people in need. Giving practical things like sleeping bags shows that someone is truly thinking about them and gives them one less thing to worry about.”
Rabbi Eli Birnbaum added: “It is difficult to find the right words to describe how profoundly moving and eye-opening this experience was. One of the most basic and fundamental tenets of the Torah’s teachings is that of reaching out to the helpless and needy. As Psalm 89 states: ‘The world is built through kindness’. This Sunday saw a group of young professionals sacrifice their time in order to make a real difference to the lives of people who genuinely need our support. Beyond this, the Kiddush Hashem created at a time when interfaith dialogue and relations are at all-time lows was a tremendously valuable achievement. We look forward to running many more similar events in the very near future!”