Jewish Weekly: CHAI’S BIG CAMPAIGN HITS A BIG TOTAL Over £3m raised in just 36 hours as donors from across the country support the Jewish community’s cancer care organisation

The Big Campaign, Chai Cancer Care’s online crowd-funding effort, has broken records as it reached over £3m in just 36 hours. 

£1m being raised in the first 6 hours alone.

Over 13,000 donors supported the campaign internationally with donations received from Australia to Hong Kong. The age of donors ranging from the age of 6 to 105.

At its peak, the website was taking 35 donations a minute with an astonishing £310,000 coming in, in one hour alone.

In lieu of other fundraising events this year, the funds raised will be used towards the organisation’s £3.5m annual running costs.

Louise Hager, Chairman of Chai Cancer Care, was overwhelmed by the community’s response, “To raise £3m is outstanding in every way. To watch the donations come in was like being at the centre of a huge communal hug. The past eight months have been particularly difficult for cancer patients and their loved ones. Chai’s response, The Big Campaign, will enable us to support and care for those who in many cases have been forgotten during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Yitz Bude, from online fundraising platform Charity Extra, commented, “Charity Extra has run over 100 crowdfunding campaigns in the last 12 months, raising over £37million for good causes, and we have never seen anything like this before. The generosity on display was unparalleled and shows how central Chai is to so many in the community”

The enormity of the coronavirus on cancer patients and their loved ones is undeniable. A direct consequence of the pandemic has meant that people are being diagnosed later, sadly resulting in the need for more invasive radical surgery and treatment. 

It has been widely reported that cancer has become ‘the Forgotten C’ as critical cancer services have been downgraded due to rising virus cases in our hospitals. This has resulted in a backlog of three million people waiting for screenings (according to Cancer Research UK.) 

Chai continues to provide many of its specialised services through telephone, Skype and Zoom including all counselling services, support groups, the Chai in Schools programme which operates in 23 schools across the UK and the Medical Outpatient Rehabilitation and Palliative Care Service. The demand for counselling has increased by 37% since the first lockdown began.