ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 229

Promoted Article The Times of Israel - Promoted Content Ten Gav

Ten Gav’s innovative giving model has never been more important

Ten Gav connects donors with the personal stories of Israelis who need help. In the shadows of the ongoing war, they’ve doubled down on their mission.

Dana, a 29-year-old third-year medical student from Netanya, survived the Nova party massacre on October 7, enduring unimaginable trauma. Forced to flee for her life while witnessing the murder of several friends, Dana was left emotionally shattered and struggling to cope. Her mental health deteriorated to the point where she found it impossible to function, let alone resume her studies. In her darkest hour, Ten Gav stepped in, providing the financial support necessary for Dana to continue her education.

What sets Ten Gav apart from other nonprofits is its innovative crowd-funding platform, which facilitates direct assistance to needy Israelis. This unique one-to-one model lets donors personally select the individuals they wish to help, ensuring their support makes a tangible impact. Since its inception in 2014, Ten Gav (a play on words in Hebrew and English suggesting “giving back”) has been a source of relief and hope for thousands of Israelis.

From providing essential home appliances to funding tuition costs, psychological therapies, and computers, Ten Gav has empowered at-risk youth, families in need, single mothers, victims of domestic violence, older Israelis, and children and adults with special needs.

But Israel’s overwhelming wartime needs have pushed the nonprofit beyond its signature approach. “When the war erupted on October 7, we swiftly adapted our approach from one-to-one to one-to-many,” shares Ten Gav’s co-founder Naomi Brounstein. “Overnight, we mobilized to fulfill a surge of group requests from social services agencies nationwide.”

On the morning of October 8, social services agencies from southern Israel requested Ten Gav’s assistance in supporting their most vulnerable clients. For instance, social services in Kiryat Malachi approached Ten Gav to provide tablets to older Israelis who were isolated from their usual social activities due to the ongoing war. This group, which was vulnerable to isolation, utilized technology to connect with their community.

Ten Gav founders Naomi Brounstein and Vivi Mann (right and center), together with Nira Shocket, Manager of El-Yam Resort, which housed evacuees. (Courtesy of Ten Gav)

Ten Gav also stepped in to fund emergency accommodation for over 550 self-evacuees from the north and south. Many of these families did not qualify for government support but urgently needed relocating, with the stress of incessant rockets becoming unbearable. This included Yosef Salem, a father of five from Ashkelon.

Ten Gav also distributed laptops to evacuee children and teens from Sderot in pop-up schools around Israel, as well as tablets to children with special needs from Ofakim and adults with special needs from Ashkelon. At the request of Bar Ilan University, Ten Gav provided laptops to evacuee students and those in the military reserves who were in financial distress, ensuring continuity in their education despite the upheaval.

Evacuee students from Sderot receive laptop computers from Ten Gav. (Courtesy of Ten Gav)

Naomi K. Eisenberger, director of The Good People Fund and long-term supporter, admires how Ten Gav scaled up during this period. “Post October 7, it became very obvious to me that the framework Ten Gav had created was solid and could address the new reality of a country torn apart by war where hundreds of thousands of people were personally impacted by the conflict,” she explains. “I was particularly impressed that they could carve out specific areas of need and focus on resolving them.”

“At Ten Gav, we’re actively engaged in understanding and addressing the real needs of our community,” shares co-founder Vivi Mann. “Our extensive network of over 45 social services agencies and community partners enables us to swiftly implement programs that make a difference.”

Ten Gav’s collaboration with the Netanya Department of Social Services is a good example, resulting in the initiation of a 12-month support program for 40 young survivors of the October 7 Nova festival. The comprehensive program provides practical assistance, including rent and tuition support, alongside therapeutic interventions and group activities. The goal is not only short-term relief but also long-term community building, fostering a support network for survivors to lean on in the future. Einat Hatzamri Shavit, a social worker in the Department of Youth and Young People, shares this video update.

In the heart of Kiryat Shmona on Israel’s northern border, Ten Gav is also hard at work – assisting hundreds of elderly and vulnerable residents remaining in the city. Despite evacuation orders, many are unable to leave for a variety of reasons.  Led by Ten Gav’s social services manager, Tal Orpaz, they have joined with local community partners to provide essential lifelines to those in need. From generators ensuring continuous power supply to microwaves and fridges for storing food and medication, their large-scale deliveries have already made a tangible difference to those individuals spending most of their hours in public shelters.

While responding to the war and increasing their activity, Ten Gav has continued to fulfill regular requests from social workers nationwide. Social worker Noa Negri, from Beit Shemesh Welfare Department explains how Ten Gav helps her. “Thanks to Ten Gav, I have been able to provide many solutions to families that would have not otherwise been possible,” she says. “This included a family with small children who had to move apartments at very short notice and could not take their beds with them. I also helped a single mother of seven get a tumble dryer, so she could get through the rainy winter.”

Ten Gav recently received a thank you letter from Abi, 24. When she was just 14 years old, due to very difficult circumstances at home, she moved by herself to a boarding school for youth-at-risk in Jerusalem and worked as a babysitter so she could afford to cover her basic needs. Abi participated in a special program operated by the Department for the Advancement of Youth in the City of Jerusalem that enabled her to finish high school. Around the time of her military service, her social worker approached Ten Gav to provide her with a laptop computer so she could start a computer skills and programming course. Abi is now working and living a productive life. “If I hadn’t received this computer, I would not be where I am today!” she says.

At the heart of Ten Gav’s mission is bringing more people into their ‘circle of givers’ to assist Israelis in need. By sharing the personal stories of these individuals and allowing donors to choose something that speaks to them directly, Ten Gav meets the needs of many donors in today’s world, who want to feel connected to where their charitable dollars or shekels are going.

Naomi Brounstein believes that most people want to help those less fortunate and her goal is to provide easy access to verified cases. “Our donors have confidence in our giving model and us. They trust us to get their money to the people who need it most and know that every case that comes to us has been verified by a social services professional in the field. Since October 7, due to the support of our generous donors, we have been able to assist over 2,000 needy Israelis.”

“We will continue to devote our energies to vulnerable Israelis as long as there is a need,” promise Naomi and Vivi.

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