Last Wednesday, The Survivor Initiative held a happy hour at The Laughing Man to raise money for the 200 local Holocaust survivors living in poverty. The Survivor Initiative is a volunteer-led national effort that reaches across generations to raise awareness and funds for Holocaust survivors living in poverty. Tens of Thousands of Holocaust survivors in the United States are living below the national poverty line of $11,170/year. One hundred percent of funds raised go to strengthening the capacity of the agencies that care for Holocaust survivors in need. In Washington these funds support the work of the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) and its critical 20-year old Holocaust Survivor Program. At the happy hour last Wednesday, The Survivor Initiative raised over $2000 for survivors.
The Survivor Initiative was founded in the summer of 2012 by a small group of volunteers who were shocked to learn of the significant funding shortfalls for programs that support Holocaust survivors living below the national poverty line.
Historically, social services for Holocaust survivors in need have been funded by grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany with assistance from local Jewish Federations, agencies and private donors. Recently, a decrease in funding from these traditional revenue sources combined with a substantial increase in aging survivors applying for more intensive services has placed local and national survivor support programs in jeopardy.
The Survivor Initiative seeks to raise awareness and funds to assure survivors live their remaining years in dignity.
The next Survivor Initiative event will be May 22nd at 7pm at the National Press Club. More information, can be found on www.survivorinitiative.org. You can also follow SI on twitter @surviviorinit and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivorinitiative.
If you would like to speak to someone about volunteering or donations, please email Rachel at Rachel@survivorinitiative.org.