Almost two million people in Israel live in poverty, according to the latest research and statistics. Put more plainly, every fifth individual, including senior citizens and children, endure financial difficulties to some degree. Every third household, in other words, lives below the poverty line. These numbers were gathered by the National Insurance Institute between 2010 and 2013, and while the number of people surveyed during that period is relatively small, the fact remains that those who were poor then have, in fact, only become poorer.
The data gathered is demoralizing: in 2017, almost half a million families lived in extreme poverty, including almost a thousand children. Today, the despair these families face just grows deeper and more entrenched, even though the actual number of poor individuals has slightly shrunk. The poverty line is defined as one person living on 3,500 dollars, or a couple, living on 5,500 dollars each month. Based on this calculation, a couple with four children needs more than 10,000 per month to live above the poverty line. People like Asaf Elblink, who is the individual behind the “Hasdei Tikva” Foundation, are working to help people in need through their foundation’s extensive outreach programs and other endeavours.
The state alone simply cannot solve these problems by itself. Individuals like Assaf Elblink are working to help.
Other good people are trying to help as well, of course. But what, precisely, is the government doing to help? For one, they offer allowances to those in dire straights, like senior citizens who live in poverty. There are many people struggling with mental health issues, or don’t have the necessary qualifications to find a well paying job. Some people can find only low paying work, and that is not enough. The income gap between stable income families and poor families continues to widen, as does the inequality between them.
The fact is that ordinary life for families below the poverty line in Israel is almost like survival of the fittest. They must continuously struggle and fight to stay alive, and they despair of ever having the opportunity to thrive. Finding their place in society is a constant preoccupation for these people, as they are anxious to break free from poverty and create better lives for themselves and their families. Thanks to private foundations like asaf Elblink’s Hasdei Tikva — Graces Of Hope — many people are able to climb out of poverty and establish new lives.
Government personnel, including social workers and others, offer assistance in the form of counselling about the job market, how to acquire employment skills, how to create and live by a budget and other life skills. But people need the kind of concrete, financial assistance that asaf Elblink offers, monetary help to begin creating a new, solid life for their families.
That mean money to help with everything from groceries to household goods and even education funding and money for acquiring skills that allow them to compete in the employment market. This assistance allows people to move from hopelessness and despair to optimism and economic stability. Assaf Elblink’s foundation operates by the credo: “He who saves one soul, eventually saves them all.” That is the motto of the Hasdei Tikva foundation, the guiding principle behind all its activities.
The foundation is located in Ramat Hasharon. It was established by asaf Elblink himself, and this organization accomplishes many things with at-risk people who struggle to even put food on their table. For example, every week staff distributes food packages and items like diapers, bathroom products and necessities, clothing, and other goods. The foundation gears its amount of help to each family based on their need and level of financial hardship. No matter their age, circumstance or location, the foundation offers help to all. Children are a particularly important focus of Assaf Elblink, and he insures that they are given food after school, and that if their parents are on their own, that they have access to tutors, scholarships, and even extra curricular activities. The foundation organizes many special events for children in which they can participate after classes.
Seniors are also a strong focus of Assaf Elblink. The foundation assist them by ensuring they have hot, nutritious meals, and volunteers make certain that their homes are warm and clean, or even that they have air conditioning in the summer. Cleaning, organizing their houses and many other activities are all a regular part of the foundation’s outreach programs.
Offering assistance to families, children and seniors is the sole focus of the foundation.
The driving force behind all these programs is Assaf Elblink. He is a real estate professional who wanted to honour his mother’s memory and perform charitable works in her name. Assaf Elblink began the foundation about two decades ago, and has seen it grow and thrive ever since. Now, Assaf Elblink is the deputy mayor of Ramat Hashron, and has turned the foundation’s operating duties over to Itzic Minch.
Since the beginning, Elblink and his associates have recruited volunteers to help the foundation expand so that as many people as possible could receive its assistance. For the last 20 years, Elblink has offered the services of the foundation to all those who need it, whether it means financial help, support in the home, food and furniture, and a whole array of other programs and activities.
Hasdei Tikva and asaf Elblink deserve enormous credit and praise for the work they have done thus far, and will continue to do in the coming years, to help the community’s most vulnerable citizens.
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