The campaign raises vital funds to help vulnerable people from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to survive the harsh winter months. With temperatures regularly plummeting to -20 degrees Celsius, older and disabled people face an annual struggle to get through the winter. Ingrained poverty in Ukraine, Moldova, and the rest of the Former Soviet Union means that many people live on meagre pensions that are being constantly devalued by rising inflation, making it impossible to cover essentials like food and medical supplies, let alone home repairs that would keep the winter cold out.
Emma Segal, Head of Community Fundraising at WJR, said:
“The Walk for Warmth is about making a real difference, and I’d like to thank everyone who came along or sponsored someone to take part. The Walk has raised over £5000 so far, which will make a big impact, allowing WJR to continue helping vulnerable people to get through the winter.”
“Here in the UK it’s easy to take our warm, comfortable homes for granted, but things are very different in Ukraine, Moldova and the rest of the former Soviet Union. I’ve just come back from Ukraine where I saw for myself that there are so many older people, children and people with disabilities for whom the winter months are a struggle just to survive. I was struck by the isolation and loneliness that winter can bring as many people are not able to go out for months at a time but can’t afford t heat their homes.”
Judi Warren, who took part in the walk, volunteers for the charity by making her garage available for members of the public to drop off goods for WJR to send across the globe to those in need. Judi also goes into the charity’s warehouse in Neasden to help pack the goods so they can be shipped out this winter. She said:
“What a wonderful first event for WJR’s Walk for Warmth. It was a beautiful morning and everyone turned up in good spirits and had a great time together walking as a group. I met some lovely people and I wouldn’t miss next year’s Walk. I will definitely tell my friends to come along. The myWJR fundraising website makes it easier to raise money online for the walk and it’s good to know that all the money will go straight to those who most need it.”
World Jewish Relief provides vital welfare support as well home repairs to communities across Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It also runs programmes aimed at lifting people out of long term poverty and renewing Jewish community life in the region, providing education, vocational training and community centres.
As well as taking part in the Walk for Warmth, WJR is asking people to donate new or good as new hats, scarves, gloves and winter coats, and to sponsor boxes of humanitarian aid containing warm clothing, blankets, shoes and medical supplies.
You can still get involved in Operation Winter Survival:
• Watch the OWS film on www.wjr.org.uk/ows
• Donate new or nearly new warm winter clothing to WJR
• Send a box of humanitarian aid for £5
• Donate to the campaign by texting WARM 01 to 70070
Operation Winter Survival is kindly sponsored by Springdene Care Homes.
Click here to see the Walk for Warmth photogallery