OUR MISSION IS CLEAR: WE DO FOOD!
Our mission is to assist needy Jewish families in the Greater Johannesburg area with weekly fresh produce food hampers. In addition to this, we manage four Food Projects which the recipients benefit from: A School Lunch-Box Project: ‘Ohr Natanel’; A bi-weekly Soup Kitchen: ‘Yad’s Soup for the Soul’; ‘Chickens for Shabbos’; and a dry-good in-house Supermarket.
The preservation of our recipients’ self-esteem has been a cornerstone of the organization since its inception, and Yad Aharon & Michael pledges its continued and unwavering commitment to safeguarding the dignity of all its recipients.
Yad Aharon & Michael currently assists 550 families with weekly food parcels, but this number fluctuates according to the demand for our intervention. The families range from single parents with children in school to elderly people who simply cannot make ends meet on their meagre state pensions. Among the families are 180 children of school going age. During Yom Tov we take on an additional 20 families who would find it extremely difficult to celebrate the Festivals in a manner which, we believe, is their right as a part of the wider Jewish “family”.
The cost of our food parcels currently totals approximately R70, 000.00 per week. We are committed to being 100% accountable for everything we spend and our donors can remain assured that the majority of funds so generously donated goes towards the purchase of food.
OUR YOM TOV HAMPERS
Before all the major Chaggim our recipients are showered with additional hampers bursting with dry goods and specific treats appropriate to the particular festival.
Our Yom Tov packing operation for these parcels is truly a sight to behold! The Bayit’s parking lot literally teams with people of all ages (including many of our recipients) wanting to lend a hand and contribute, in whichever way they can, towards the Simchas Yom Tov of those who depend on our assistance.
SCREENING OF RECIPIENT FAMILIES
Every needy Jewish person brought to our attention is screened in order to determine their funds available to purchase food - once other expenses have been accounted for. Once approved, they are assisted with a weekly food hamper and assigned a specific box number which they quote when picking up their boxes. We adhere to a strict system of anonymity in order to ensure that our recipients’ dignity is safeguarded. This system also ensures that the Tzedokah that is done at our organisation is the highest form of Chesed in that the giver never knows who receives and the recipient never knows who donates.
Owing to the fact that Yad Aharon & Michael’s parcels consist of uncooked items, all our recipients must be able to cook for themselves which we believe is, in itself, therapeutic. Those who are unable to do so are referred to Kosher Mobile Meals with whom we enjoy a close relationship.
WHAT SETS US APART
Although food parcel distribution will always remain our core focus, our recipients regard Yad Aharon & Michael as a “home away from home”, a place where they’ll always feel safe, welcome, heard and understood. The Managing Director, Alice Friedman, insists on remaining pro-active and hands-on in terms of her rapport with the recipients. Providing a “counselling” role remains high on her list of priorities, as she regards this is a key ingredient in upholding one of the Foundation Stones of the organization – Ahavas Chesed.
Recipients look to us not only for physical sustenance, but also for spiritual and emotional support and it is the successful provision of such a holistic service which distinguishes Yad Aharon & Michael from other organizations.
Many of our recipients willingly collect their own parcels and, as a way of giving back. Those who can, take one or two additional boxes for other recipients in their area who, for various reasons, are unable to fetch their own or request this service for confidentiality purposes.
Over and above our valued volunteer packers, Yad Aharon & Michael prides itself on its fleet of volunteer drivers from all layers of the community. Our drivers are dedicated individuals and the common denominator between them is their willingness and commitment to help.
HOW CAN YOU ASSIST?
Being dependent on community funding, the organization is run, as far as possible, by volunteers. We are always in need of packers, drivers, Soup Kitchen ‘waitresses’ etc. Please contact us if you are interested (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The constant influx of clothes, toys, linen, furniture, household goods and electrical appliances brought to our Bayit is proof that Yad Aharon & Michael has crept into the hearts of the community. All items are graciously accepted and those of better quality are given to our recipients. The balance is sold in order to generate much needed funds for food.
This is an initiative that allows a donor to sponsor a specific family’s weekly food parcel. The sponsor is given updates about his family and can call to check in on their progress at any time. This is a very meaningful way to contribute to our organisation and ensures that the personal connection between Yad Aharon & Michael and our donors as well as our recipients is never lost.
The cost of this worthy initiative is R250.00 per week which equates to R1,000.00 per month per family.
SPONSOR A WEEK
This initiative allows corporates and individuals to assist all our families by sponsoring the food for a specific week in the year. This week is then allotted to the sponsor on an annual basis and is known as the “Sponsor Week”. Should the Sponsor prefer anonymity, we are happy to oblige. This is truly an awesome mitzvah as it is assured that for that week, all of our 530 families are fed as a result of the Ahavas Chesed of the sponsor.
We welcome the request for Gift Certificates for all occasions, be it a Yom Tov, birthday or anniversary and the knowledge that deserving brethren indirectly “celebrate’ these milestones by being beneficiaries of these donations, makes them so much more meaningful.
We are a registered Section 21 Company and as such, all donations are tax deductible with the issue of an 18A certificate.
JOIN US, PARTNER US AND DISCOVER FOR YOURSELF THAT GIVING IS IN FACT AN ACT OF RECEIVING