UK Toremet launched an Emergency Appeal in the early days of Operation Pillar of Cloud in November 2012. When over 1 million Israelis found themselves returning to living in shelters under rocket attack from Gaza, UK donors were invited to alleviate their distress by making donations to charities of different types operating in Southern Israel. The categories of aid that donors could select included the provision of medical treatment, funding respite outings for groups from schools and children’s homes, care packages for IDF soldiers, food distribution to shelters, and emergency aid for families whose homes were damaged by missiles.
“Because we have representatives on the ground in Israel and a list of over 125 approved recipient agencies, we were able to pass donations directly to aid agencies working in the affected area in real time”, explains UK Toremet CEO Jonny Cline. “We didn’t know how long the war would last, and we were relieved when the ceasefire took effect, but for
many charities the work continues even after the missiles have stopped.”
Most of the UK donors who responded to our Emergency Appeal asked us for advice as to where their money could be put to best use, and were sent recommendations for their approval before allocating their funds. Among the charities that they supported were Soroka Hospital, where many of the injured soldiers and civilians were taken for treatment, and Natal – Israel Trauma Centre for Victims of Terror and War. Natal fielded an emergency team in the south of Israel and their Hotline received calls from thousands of traumatized people from all over the country. Their Community Outreach unit treated hundreds of people in the Southern towns hit by missiles. They ran workshops for teachers and social workers, and they continue to provide psychological support to those who are suffering from the after-effects of the crisis.
Jonny explains: “When people responded to our Emergency Appeal, we were able to convert donated funds from sterling to shekels at the best possible exchange rate, having applied the benefits of UK Gift Aid. Every donor received confirmation of which charity received their donation, together with their UK tax receipt.Because we have minimal overheads and no salaries to pay, we could guarantee that virtually every penny donated went directly to the best fit organisation.
“We hope that we will not need to launch future Emergency Appeals, but our experience during Operation Pillar of Cloud has shown that UK Toremet stands ready to assist UK donors who want to respond with directed donations in times of crisis.”