The Shabbat Fund, established to assist families that cannot afford their basic Shabbat needs, is one of Chai Ami’s most noteworthy projects.
While visiting the home of a family that receives money from Chai Ami for the purpose of medical treatment, the organization’s president, Rabbi Shlomo Katzin was appalled to hear the mother describe the family’s dire financial situation, to the extent that they cannot afford to purchase basic food and necessities for Shabbat.
On the spot, Rabbi Katzin determined to open a special branch of the organization that would be named Keren HaShabbat (Shabbat Fund). Traveling abroad to meet with a group of generous philanthropists, he presented his idea of establishing a fund to provide money and food to families unable to afford their basic needs for Shabbat. His proposal met with eager approval, and thus Keren HaShabbat was born!
Every Thursday and Friday, Chai Ami volunteers contact families approved for funding and informs them that they will be receiving a delivery containing all their needs in honor of Shabbat.
The volunteers purchase food and provisions, pack it up, and then contact the families again to inform them that the food is on its way! In special cases, Chai Ami delivers store vouchers to the families to be used for the purchase of Shabbat food.
The anticipation, warmth and gratitude that Chai Ami volunteers encounter upon delivering the packages and vouchers to the families infuse them with joy and strength to continue their sacred endeavors on behalf of their needy brothers and sisters. Words can’t do justice to the smiles and joyous tears that fill the eyes of parents and children who can finally celebrate a beautiful Shabbat together.
Chai Ami is presently seeking to expand the Shabbat Fund in order to reach more families and enable everyone to enjoy a peaceful, blessed Shabbat!
Shabbat shalom u’mevorach!