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Thousands of Israelis come together to help those struggling financially in face of COVID-19 pandemic

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Pay it forward initiative started by the team at Israel’s Hazinor Tv show encourages Israelis who can, to donate either part of or their entire government-issued coronavirus grant to those less fortunate or in need

By ILANIT CHERNICK

One good deed can go a long way.

This is the view of Adam Shafir, Guy Lerer and the team of Israel’s popular TV show Hazinor.

Following an announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the government will be giving coronavirus grants to Israelis over the age of 18 raging between NIS 750 ($218) and NIS 3,000 ($874), Shafir, Lerer and Hazinor decided to start a pay it forward initiative.

The initiative encourages those who can to to give either part of or their entire grant to those in dire financial need.

“There are a lot of people who are in a difficult financial situation because of the coronavirus,” Shafir told IsraelNewsStand. “There are people without electricity, who can’t buy food or bread, who can’t pay for their rent, who are about to be evicted and we wanted to do something to help.”

Just 30 minutes before Hazinor aired on Wednesday night, Shafir together with Lerer, who is the show’s host, decided to take action.
“We launched the campaign and spoke about it on Hazinor,” Shafir explained. “The number of people who got involved was amazing. We saw a massive and exciting response – within hours already NIS 700,000 ($203,800) was raised.

“People are looking for a place to give their grants to those that really need it.” he added.

Now, the fundraiser has almost reached NIS 2 million – all in less than 24 hours. They’re aiming to reach at least NIS 3 million.

Since the start of the initiative, thousands of Israelis have come together, donating small and big amounts and leaving encouraging messages of love and unity on the fundraisers online page.

“Our aim is to get as many people as we can to help so that we can give those in financial trouble the chance to erase their debt and have a fresh start,” Shafir said. “We are all in this together and we need to help one another.”

He added that since the initiative was discussed on the Hazinor, people have taken it upon themselves to spread and share the initiative to their friends, families and beyond. 

Asked about where the funds will go, Shafir stressed that they are working with the great minds from several local organizations who help people in difficult financial situations and made it clear that they will be transparent and publish where the money is going.

Shafir had an important message: “If you see yourself as a person who wants to get involved and someone who can, this is how you can do it especially if there is someone out there who may need it more than you.

“There’s a big stake in doing this and helping others during this difficult time,” he concluded. 

To get involved go to: https://giveback.co.il/project/59078

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