This year, a representative from Chai Lifeline worked with Miriam Cleeman, chesed chair at Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington D.C., to match 16 Chai Lifeline families from the Greater Washington area with 25 members of the Kesher community. The generous Kesher members collected toys and games, organized, and wrapped up the presents for the Chai Lifeline families, and the personalized presents were presented to each family at the organization’s annual Chanukah party.
“Chai Lifeline has done such amazing work to support those in our own community, it was so gratifying to do the same for other children in our area,” said Cleeman. “Programs like this can only succeed when they are supported by enthusiastic participants, and the Kesher community certainly stepped up to the plate.”
Justin Kelman, a young professional who volunteered for the toy drive, said the experience really enhanced his Chanukah. “I couldn’t resist an opportunity to make a child happy with a Chanukah gift. I don’t get presents anymore and I don’t have my own kids, so I really appreciated being able to partake in the gift-giving festivities while also supporting the holiday for a family in need,” he said.