Dozens of young volunteers from a Jewish informal education network spent Sunday helping homeless people and their pets in central London.
With winter approaching, 30 young professionals from Aish UK prepped survival packs including a sleeping bag, thermal clothing, coats, first aid kits, hygiene essentials and food from items donated from Borehamwood-based Goods for Good.
Once the survival packs were complete, the Help the Homeless campaign group split into four teams, each covering an area of central London – Piccadilly, Holborn, Kings Cross and Liverpool Street. Within two hours, all packs had been distributed.
During the course of the exercise, the volunteers heard the personal life stories of how people had ended up on the streets. One team even met a Jewish man who had been homeless for six months, who was delighted to receive some kosher food.
“It was a very humbling experience,” said Adam Abraham, one of the volunteers. “We all take for granted the things we have in life that everyone deserves, such as a warm bed at night, food, friends, family.
“The people I saw were so grateful when in fact all I was giving out was a bit of food, a jacket and other basic essentials. I’m really happy I decided to participate.”
Rabbi Eli Birnbaum of Aish London said: “One of our core values as an Orthodox Jewish organisation is to look out for the wellbeing of the wider community and encourage our own to step out of their comfort zone to help those who quite literally have no-one to turn to.”