Chai Cancer Care raises more than £3m in 36-hour appeal
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Chai Cancer Care raises more than £3m in 36-hour appeal

13,000 people gave to 'The Big Campaign' as sponsors agreed to match early donations, helping the charity to double its target of £1.5m

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

Chairman Louise Hager and Chief Executive Lisa Steele presenting the  community-raised cheque exceeding an £3m
Chairman Louise Hager and Chief Executive Lisa Steele presenting the community-raised cheque exceeding an £3m

Chai Cancer Care raised a record-breaking £3million since its fundraising appeal began on Sunday,  doubling its target of £1.5million.

‘The Big Campaign’ fundraiser reached its £1.5million target in just four hours alone and has received donations from more than 13,000 people from all over the world, with a peak of 35 donations a minute. A group of sponsors agreed to match all of the early donations made within the first 36 hours.

Chai’s operating costs are £3.5million a year, so the charity have asked people to not stop donating but to continue giving whatever they can, as “every gift now makes a big difference”.

Louise Hager, chairman of Chai Cancer Care, was overwhelmed by the community’s response: “To raise £3million is outstanding in every way. To watch the donations come in was like being at the centre of a huge communal hug.

“The past eight months have been particularly difficult for cancer patients and their loved ones. Chai’s response, The Big Campaign, will enable us to support and care for those who in many cases have been forgotten during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The charity, which supports over 3,600 clients, has seen their income drop by 40 percent because of postponed and cancelled events and fundraising.

“The enormity of Covid-19 on cancer patients and their loved ones is undeniable. A direct consequence of the pandemic has meant that people are being diagnosed later, sadly resulting in the need for more invasive radical surgery and treatment”, the charity said.

“It has been widely reported that cancer has become ‘the Forgotten C’ as critical cancer services have been downgraded due to rising virus cases in our hospitals

“On a daily basis we are seeing the impact and anxiety that this is having on our clients, both physically and emotionally. With the need for social distancing, not being able to see family members and loved ones is an added and significant pressure for so many.”

Chai are continuing to provide their specialised support services virtually and over the phone as they say the demand for counselling has increased 37 percent during the pandemic.

Deborah & Joshua Hirshler

“The demand for Chai’s services has always been great but now it is urgently needed more than ever”, the charity added.

“Chai, together with the entire medical profession is already seeing a surge of clients. We must be ready to support them, with our Big C of Care.”

Yitz Bude, from online fundraising platform Charity Extra, said that he had “never seen anything like this before”.

“The generosity on display was unparalleled and shows how central Chai is to so many in the community”

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