Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One Click Could Seriously Help Jerusalem's Homeless

Got the following letter last week:

Hi Jameel,

My name is Dovid Levine, I am a second-year Logistics student at Bar-Ilan University.

I have been slowly trying for the last year to lay the groundwork to start a homeless shelter - the only homeless shelter in Jerusalem. Although progress has been slow, last week I entered a contest run by Dell and University of Texas at Austin to win where students can win $50000 for their life-changing ideas. In order to guarantee a spot in the second round, we need to place in the top ten most voted ideas. Additionally if we place #1, we get $1000 regardless of future placement.

I know this is an unorthodox request, but I was wondering if there was a way to contact your readers and ask them to vote for us. [A simple link with instructions is here]

I understand the hesitations you might have to do this, after all, you don't know me. However, our cause is just, and we could do immeasurable good to Jerusalem if we can get the funding we need...

He's right. I don't really know him, but I replied back and forth with him...and he's on the level. He's not only contacting me, but doing his best to really get the word out, contacting other bloggers, the media, and any possible way to get publicity to win the contest for this extremely important cause. The JPost has written him up as well:
Levine has entered Matzav in the Dell Social Innovation Competition, a joint effort between The University of Texas at Austin, an international search for university students "with innovative ideas to solve a social or environmental problem," with a cash prize of over $100,000 to at least five winning teams.

Matzav is the only Israeli idea in the top twenty, ranking at fourth place in early February, but Levine calls for action over this idea. The more votes the idea gets, the more likely it is to win the grant.

"People are always looking for ways to give back and help those in need. This is one of the few times where it's effortless," Levine told The Jerusalem Post. "By winning this contest, we will be able to start the process of creating a homeless shelter in Jerusalem, something that is sorely lacking.

"I first got exposed to the issue of homelessness when I came to Israeli in tenth grade [on the Jewish Agency's Naale Elite Academy Program]," Levine says, adding that growing up in suburban New Jersey, he had never been "exposed to such high levels of homelessness and poverty as in cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."

"I couldn't understand how so many people suffered such a predicament and why not nearly enough was being done to help," he explained. "Current solutions, I think, are merely treating the symptoms and not the underlying issues, much like this country's over-reliance on Acamol."

Levine explained that there are very few homeless shelters in Israel, a fact that he credits to Israel's Housing Assistance laws, which give those who have been on the street for over 30 days and suffer from mental illness to receive a place to live. JPost
And here's a heart warming post from blog friend Ruti about this project as well. Do the right thing -- a simple click of your mouse could seriously help Jerusalem's Homeless.

OK, it's slightly more than one click, but aren't the homeless of Jerusalem worth it?

Click here to make a difference!

Pass it on!

--Jameel


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6 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

You are THE BOMB, Jameel. [Pause.] Can I say that on the Muqata website?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Ruti: LOL!!!

:)

Kovi said...

cant wait til abba reads this. I've mentioned the matzav project at home, back when it went by a different name, but I haven't been home for almost a year and then the project was still tiny. It's good to see this starting to really take shape!

Note that aside from voting for them, the Matzav project is always looking for volunteers. if you have even a few minutes a day with ur computer and an internet connection, levine can put you to good use working on the grant proposal and other necessary documentation. writers, editors, designers - even 5 minutes helps. I spent a few minutes a day working on this myself before I enlisted in the IDF, and it's easy, you can do it on your lunch break, and it makes a difference. like he said, never has really helping people been so effortless.

Kovi said...

also, for those of you familiar with me, I can vouch for levine. He's my roommate and one of my best friends, and his will to help is genuine.

Anonymous said...

Who's Kovi?

Gee a Moron said...

Please post the results (i.e. whether they get the grant).

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