GIFT gala dinner celebrates 20 years of giving and inspiring change

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GIFT gala dinner celebrates 20 years of giving and inspiring change

650 supporters join social action charity to champion the continued culture of ‘We’ over ‘Me'.

GIFT volunteers. Elliot Jacobs Photography
GIFT volunteers. Elliot Jacobs Photography

650 guests and supporters enjoyed a gala dinner at the iconic Roundhouse in Camden to celebrate two decades of the social action GIFT Charity.

The evening was marked by heartfelt speeches, performances, and inspiring stories of how GIFT impacts so many lives.

Michelle Barnet MBE, director of GIFT said: “20 years ago, a pressing question bothered me, where were the givers? Where was the framework for young people to volunteer their time and energy to help others?

Michelle Barnett MBE and Rabbi Naftali Schiff GIFT Dinner. Elliot Jacobs Photography

“So, GIFT was born, led by the visionary Rabbi Naftali Schiff and supported by the dedicated Howard Jackson, and a handful of like-minded individuals. Our aim was simple: to foster a culture of ‘We’ over ‘Me,’ to aid the less fortunate not just monetarily but by instilling a spirit of giving.”

Rabbi Naftali Schiff, GIFT founder and chairman said: “In a world in which we have been shockingly reminded that fundamental values need deliberate cultivation, we can’t assume anything, not even the innate Jewish principle of giving.

GIFT 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner

“Recognising society’s zeitgeist of blurring lines between good and bad, kindness and selfishness, we as a community are compelled to act to educate our young people to know right from wrong.

“Thus, we established GIFT with a profound purpose: to educate, inspire, and empower individuals to embody a culture of giving. GIFT’s mission extends beyond donations; it’s about encouraging a lifelong commitment to selflessly giving, not just in the giving of things but also the giving of self.”

Miriam Ibigi GIFT Dinner 2024

A highlight of the evening was the touching story shared by Miriam Ibigi, who as one of 11 children, once relied on GIFT for meals and support during challenging times. From receiving assistance, she became a dedicated volunteer, culminating in the creation of the Giving Kitchen, an initiative that provides hundreds of meals weekly from the GIFT kitchen.

The gala also served as a platform to rally support for GIFT‘s ongoing initiatives, including its vital educational programmes and community outreach efforts.

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