Meet Israel’s Fastest Growing Volunteering Community
“Despite what many may think, volunteering rates in Israel are low”
OneDay Social Volunteering has created a new model for volunteering in Israel. The program offers an opportunity to volunteer one day at a time. The old-fashioned models that were common in Israel, and many places around the world, discouraged volunteers because of the requirement for a long-term commitment. OneDay’s digital platform provides a flexible, social, and fun way for individuals to volunteer and even become leaders in a wide variety of initiatives that are having an impact on their communities.
Founded as an international, non-political, social-volunteering non-profit organization, OneDay enables young professionals to volunteer in a way that fits in with their day-to-day busy scheduled. “Our goal is to strengthen the ties between different communities working with each other for the public good and encourage people of all circles to take part in our activities,” Shir Blumenfeld told Israel Today. “We strive to help young people develop a “social career” alongside their traditional career in the workforce and develop their leadership skills within their community,” she said.
Volunteer work in general is experiencing a crisis as people lack the time, commitment, interest, and sense of social responsibility. Offering opportunities that are flexible and accessible for everyone and creating a “community of volunteers,” OneDay has struck a chord with a wide range of people who want to volunteer but never thought they could. The digital platform also allows participants to expand their own professional, cultural, academic, and social networks, which benefits both the communities being served and the volunteers themselves.
OneDay was founded in 2016 and now coordinates over 40,000 volunteers. The organization runs individual, group, and single day activities across the country assisting Holocaust survivors, children with disabilities, home renovations for needy families and much more.
One of their most popular programs is volunteer days for companies to help unify their workers while serving in their own communities.
Recently, they developed a unique program called ”virtual volunteering” with online activities providing personal interaction for isolated populations in times of social distancing. The program offers activities such as online arts and crafts, cooking, music trivia, quizzes, workout sessions and more.
“Despite what many may think, volunteering rates in Israel are low, 26% lower than the average compared to other OECD countries,” OneDay Founder and CEO Elad Blumental told Israel Today. “It is not that young adults in Israel don’t want to volunteer and help people in need. It’s the fact that the volunteering model in Israel is not suitable for today’s young adults,” he said.
“OneDay’s innovative volunteering model proved itself once again during the coronavirus pandemic, and while most nonprofits in Israel suffered a reduction of 40% in their volunteering rates last year – we were able to expand our community of volunteers by almost 20% to 40,000 volunteers and strengthen our status as the leading nonprofit in Israel for young professionals,” he said.
“We are witnessing an enormous increase in the number of requests for support we receive during the coronavirus crisis,” Blumental added. “It definitely gets more and more challenging to do all we are able to do. This is the hardest time for us – more people in need and less people who give,” he said.