Orthodox Jewish families, who are financially impacted by the coronavirus, are receiving help thanks to crowdfunding sites dedicated to helping people in their community.
The Times of Israel reports it is common for campaigns to raise six-figure amounts for Orthodox families in financial need in just a few days.
After the coronavirus killed Lipa Friedrich, a 39-year-old bus driver from New York, his wife and 11 children were left without a source of income. But an online campaign raised over $1 million for the family via DryveUp, the Times of Israel reports.
“We didn’t expect that we will reach such an amount,” said Shlomo Spitzer, who organized the larger campaign for the Friedrich family told the online newspaper. “But obviously the vibe was very good. People got very involved.”
DryveUp is one of several fundraising platforms that Orthodox Jews turn to when they need to raise money for someone in need.
“You have to attribute it to how people are brought up and their values,” the founder of DryveUp Yossi Klein told the newspaper. “Everybody’s cutting back on certain stuff now. No one is splurging. But for essentials, they’re still spending. So if they’re brought up that charity is essential, they still give.”
DryveUp charges a flat rate to clients and provides call-to-action campaigns featuring videos and stories of those in need.
“I’m not surprised — it has been tried and proven over and over and over again,” Moshe Hecht, the chief innovation officer at Charidy, another fundraising site, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I am surprised that it’s still working in this environment, where people are holding onto their wallets and seemingly so frugal.”
Donations totaling nearly $850,000 rolled in on the Chesed Fund to support a family of four from Chicago after their father died from the virus on April 4.
So far, the Chesed Fund has raised more than $9 million on its site for coronavirus victims. Chesed Fund creator Avi Kehat said traffic to the site has quadrupled in the last month.
“Entire cities have stepped up to care for specific members who have passed away,” he said. “And the broader Jewish community as a whole has also stepped up incredibly to assist individuals they have never heard of before.”
Another fundraiser held on Charidy for a British father of 12 kids, who died from coronavirus in April, brought in more than $830,000 from about 7,600 donors, The Times of Israel reports.
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