In 2014, the Hanukkah Helpers Program 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.
A meaningful contribution is greatly appreciated!
Frequently Asked Questions
Its easy. Just click on the link below to register:
Or you can also email any of the 2017 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 the 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.
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.
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
Every package is unique and incredibly appreciated by the receiver.
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 JFSA.
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 photo gallery to the right may be helpful.
Once delivered to JFS, the package your family has created will be directed to a case worker who will hand deliver it to its 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 JFSA 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.
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 December 4th.
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.
All purchases 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.
Your 2017 coordinators are here to answer any questions you may have about the Hanukkah Helpers initiative.
Lori Braha, email@example.com, (604) 315-5131
Kamiel Schwartz, firstname.lastname@example.org, (604) 318-4633
You may also contact the following JFS staff:
Ayana Honig, email@example.com (604) 558-5707
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!