Hanukkah Helpers

Hanukkah Helpers2019-06-17T16:35:36-07:00
Hanukkah Helpers was created as a chesed project for JFS, where families in the community could help to support other families in need during Hanukkah. Since then, this program has become an annual event!

How it works

Each donor family is matched with an anonymous recipient family – with only minimal information about the ages of their children- and their task is to shop for their assigned family.  It is an opportunity to get the whole family involved in selecting items, decorating and writing kind messages.  For many recipient families, these gifts may be the only ones they receive this season.  Amount to spend and participation is up to each family.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can our family participate?2018-10-24T14:54:17-07:00

Its easy. Just click on the link below to register:

Register for Hanukkah Helpers

Or you can email any of the coordinators directly and express your desire to participate.

A coordinator will get back to you shortly with a match family. The name of the family remains anonymous but the information you receive will include the ages and genders of the family members and a brief description of why the family is working with JFS. We want to make sure you are happy with the match and if for any reason you feel it doesn’t work for your family, please don’t hesitate to ask for another option.

Once your match is confirmed, a Hanukkah Helpers coordinator will provide you with a Hanukkah Helpers Envelope that will be used to collect your receipts and also provide you with a numbered tag to be tied to your package, thereby ensuring your package is delivered to its intended recipients.

Can we request additional information about the family in order to better tailor the contents of our package?2017-11-15T05:30:31-07:00

We have had feedback from donor families in the past asking that we provide additional information about the children’s likes and interests to aid in personalizing the packages. In an effort to maintain privacy and anonymity, no further information will be available other than what is provided in the initial description of the matched recipient family.

What should go into the package?2018-10-24T14:55:54-07:00

The contents of this package are up to you and your family.  Here are just a few examples of some items included in the past:

  • Oil, Latke mixes, Dreidels, Chocolate money and Candles
  • Gift cards for groceries
  • Gifts for the kids
  • Entertainment gift cards
  • Cold weather accessories
  • Handmade cards from kids

Please ensure the package is transportable – many clients take the bus or public transit and need to be able to carry the package home with them.

What should be the value of the package’s contents?2018-10-24T14:56:23-07:00

We want to stress that there are no expectations from the recipient family as they are not expecting anything.  Any amount donated will be a welcome surprise and a help to the families aided by the JFS.

Should we wrap the package?2018-10-24T14:57:01-07:00

This is up to you. Past packages have come in grocery bags, gift bags, baskets and even a frying pan! But if you need some ideas, the photos to the right may be helpful.

Aside from the intended recipient family, who sees the contents of the package?2018-10-24T14:59:07-07:00

Once delivered to JFS, the package your family has created will be directed to a case worker who will ensure its given to the intended recipient family. Your Hanukkah Helpers envelope – which will include the receipts from the items you purchased and your contact details- is directed to the JFS development office where a strict privacy and ethics code is adhered to. Please note that the coordinators of Hanukkah Helpers are volunteers and do not have access to any confidential information.

How much time do we have to put our package together?2018-10-24T14:59:43-07:00

To ensure that the JFS case workers can deliver the packages to the recipient families in time for Hanukkah please have your package ready by November 26.

How do we submit our package to the JFS?2017-11-15T05:51:06-07:00

Once your package is complete, you can deliver it directly to the JFS office (201-475 East Broadway). They are open 9-5 Monday – Thursday and 9-3:30 on Fridays. The staff are very welcoming and appreciative, so it is a great experience to do the drop off with your kids. We know this can be a busy time of year and if you would rather not make the trip, just let one of the coordinators know and we will be happy to arrange transport for your package from your home and deliver it to the JFS on your behalf.

Please remember to attach the provided numbered TAG to your package. Again, this will ensure it goes to the intended recipient family. Please seal and keep the provided Hanukkah Helpers Envelope separate from the package as this will be given directly to the JFS development office so a tax receipt can be be prepared for you.

Do we get a tax receipt for the full value of our package?2018-10-24T15:01:34-07:00

All purchases, minus the tax, are eligible for a tax receipt. Please note that any taxes paid on goods are not eligible. Be sure to include all your receipts in the Hanukkah Helpers envelope that will be provided to you and submit the envelope to the JFS office.

You will receive a tax receipt within a few weeks of submission of your receipts.

If I have questions throughout the process who should I ask?2018-10-24T15:02:36-07:00

Your 2018 coordinators are here to answer any questions you may have about the Hanukkah Helpers initiative.

Kamiel Schwartz, kamiel.schwartz@gmail.com, (604) 318-4633

You may also contact the JFS Volunteer Coordinator:

Darlene Arseneault, darseneault@jfsvancouver.ca (604) 558-5707

I know another family who may be interested in participating in Hanukkah Helpers2017-11-15T05:26:24-07:00

We are always looking for donor families to help with a growing need. Let any of the coordinators know and we are happy to personally touch base with interested potential donor families and provide them with information about Hanukkah Helpers. Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Ready to participate?

Please contact one of our program Co-Chairs or the Volunteer Department:

Kamiel Schwartz kamiel.schwartz@gmail.com
Darlene Arseneault, Volunteer Coordinator, (604) 558-5707, darseneault@jfsvancouver.ca