Reminded How Amazing Humans Are

Brief blog post about a recent charity campaign we conducted and the overwhelming support it received. $70,000 raised in one week. Charity is a staple in my life. It’s been ingrained in me since childhood. My parents, from a very young age, instilled in us the importance of philanthropy by teaching us to give back. They always spoke to us about the importance of charity at home. When I first started to earn, I was excited to be able to give back, but there was a part of me that felt proud and fortunate to be a giver and maybe even to be slightly recognized for giving.  Sometimes it even felt a little unauthentic. But there came a point, when there was a paradigm shift in my entire outlook toward giving. I realized that charity does more for you than you do for it. Altruism nurtures a sense of reality, appreciation, moral, and ethical standards. It requires one to have a sense of responsibility toward those charities dependent on them. I have surely gained more from philanthropy than the charities have from my time or money. Since inception, the founders at YieldStreet have committed to give back and to enable and promote altruism through our platform. We select charities that are close to our hearts and inform our friends and the YieldStreet community about our fundraising efforts. For the second year, in April, we decided to raise funds for a NY soup kitchen, Keren Esther Foundation (“KEF”). KEF had a unique ‘one-off’ project to provide food for Jewish families wishing to celebrate Passover. I have been cooking for and supporting KEF since high-school. KEF is different than many other soup kitchens I’ve encountered. Firstly, with the exception of one person paid to wash the pots, pans, and clean the kitchen, every dollar raised goes directly to charity. There are no admin fees or any other discounts taken from each dollar. Second, KEF was started by a prominent NY businessman who initially (years ago) self financed this project on his own. In fact, the kitchen is his home garage that was converted to a commercial kitchen used exclusively for charity. Third, it’s important to me to be part of a charity where my contributions make a difference. Sometimes, as important as a charity might be and as good as their work may be, I feel like my contribution is just a grain of sand in a desert. With KEF, the recipients are people who, typically, can afford to get by day-to-day. They have jobs and earn a living. However, the holidays and its requirements present a financial burden that they can’t stomach (no pun intended). Therefore, it’s a charity with a finite budget and a problem that can be solved. Lastly, KEF strives to provide people with food that uplifts their spirits and connects them to their families by providing luxurious meals – brisket, ribs, salmon, soups, and other traditional Passover foods. The whole family is usually present – grandparents, parents, and children. Poverty is something that has a profound effect on a person’s (especially children) morale and self-esteem. By letting these people feel proud, by giving them a great tasting dinner that they otherwise could not afford, we are giving them much more than a meal. We instill hope, peace of mind, and sense of happiness. I am proud that YieldStreet can be a part of KEF. In a period of 8 days , we raised ~$70,000. Given the level of outreach, this amount has been overwhelming. People with no connection to the recipients opened their hearts, wallets, and time to be a part of KEF’s mission. KEF is a charity that will not recognize you for your contribution. There’s no dinner, no ads, no board of directors. Its just an anonymous donation of time and/or money. I used to wonder sometimes if people still had it in them to give – they sure do! Thank you to those who participated, and those who will read this and participate. You’ve helped KEF change the lives of over 120 local families in more ways that just providing a meal. Special thanks to those who joined us at the kitchen cooking through the middle of the night. Most of all, thank you for reaffirming faith in people, in our collective ability to join forces and do good. To be selfless and make sacrifices for the sole benefit of others. Until next year,   Michael Wiesz   P.S. if you would like to become a part of KEF, or  have a charity that you would like YieldStreet to consider, please feel free to send us information at [email protected], subject: Charity.
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