ADL gets a surprising and meaningful gift.
I have worked for many years at the ADL and support the organization myself. The work and agenda reflects our deepest hopes for our collective community. As the Regional Director in a smaller region earlier in my work life, I had the most amazing gift given to the ADL and while this is not about my direct support (which I give) it is about how meaningful gifts come in all shapes and sizes.
For years in Nebraska, we asked Holocaust survivors to speak out to classrooms and groups about their personal stories. As these voices continue to disappear day by day, the strength of these stories is striking and powerful. (many of the stories are captured by the Spielberg recording efforts for posterity and teaching)
One of those who had the internal strength to speak was an older woman in our community who clearly had not been financially successful in life and lived on a meager income. She spoke regularly and with great passion wanting the youth of this generations to meet her, learn of the truth she saw, and draw lessons about how we treat the 'Other' in our own spheres. She was smart, committed, self aware and wonderful with young people. We had her speak a lot. And she never refused, even when her body became challenged by the ravages of aging.
One day sitting in my office, this small but power packed bundle of change came into see me unannounced. She sheepishly asked for a private meeting with me and I was thrilled to have another chance to talk with her on any subject.
She began to tell me of how much it means to her that we were working to preserve the memories of those lost in the Holocaust, how deeply it moved her to be part of sharing the truth of her specific story to help young people understand the way hatred can grow out of control and the deep connection she felt to the work.
She then slowly reached into her blouse and produced a check. She handed me the check and began to weep. She told me that her biggest regret in life was that she was not able to make a transformative gift to support this work.
I did not even look at the amount on the check, held her hand and weeping with her told her how deeply touched I was by her gesture. I assured her of my gratitude for her support both financially and with her very soul and had to opportunity once again to tell her of my admiration and deep love of her and her character in seeking to be a change agent.
She held my hand as she regained her composure and looked me deep in the eyes. 'Keep doing what you are doing', she almost sighed, 'It is very important we teach the children how to treat each other. It is vital what we do here.'
I have never forgotten that moment. It was deeply rewarding to get reaffirmation of the work, so warm to hear from a person of her stature and wisdom that we were doing the 'right' things and while the check was modest, I knew that she had sacrificed a meal or two in order to afford writing that check.
It was, and remains, the most meaningful contribution I have ever been involved with.
Review from #MyGivingStory
ADL helped me many years ago. (late 70's/ early 80's) I hope ADL--or someone--can help me now.
Pepco will turn off electrical service in my area on 9/3/13 from 8 AM to 12 PM--the day of Rosh Hashanah when many Jewish people will be cooking to prepare for the holiday-- for "repairs & improvements to Pepco's electric system.".
I called Pepco to make them aware of the holiness of this day but they will not reschedule. Electric service would not be cut off on Christmas..or Easter, so, why on the holiest day: The Jewish New Year? I feel Pepco does not respect the Jewish people & is blatantly discriminatory to Jews in choosing this day to shut off electrical power. I hope ADL can help. What other options do I have for Pepco to change the date of the repairs so every Jew in my area is not compromised in the preparation of Rosh Hashanah?
Review from Guidestar
I'm a middle school guidance counselor. When our school experienced a nasty anti semetic event, ADL was truly phenomenal. ADL has since worked with us to develop programs aimed to eliminate hate, bigotry, and violence. Truly a top notch resource.
Review from CharityNavigator
ADL is an amazing organization. Forged in the fires of anti-semitism, its mission is to protect all people against hate, bigotry and bias of all kinds. No challenge is too big or too small - whether a local family is seeking a voice against hate, a bill is coming to the floor of the Senate that calls for action, or a school district needs resources to battle prejudice in its student body, the ADL staff is right there, ready to roll up their sleeves and help. ADL works on every cylinder, educating, protecting and advocating. ADL is the fearless voice of justice.
The ADL provides a diverse array of civil rights services and educational programming that is matched by none. I am habitually in awe of everything they have their hands in. The structure of the organization should be modeled by any non-profit looking to be successful and long-lasting.
The ADL has spend many decades doing wonderful things for the world and all its citizens, regardless of faith, heritage, creed or persuasion. Much like the ACLU and other organizations dedicated to the fair and honest treatment of all peoples, the ADL has grown from its roots as an organization focused on combatting anti-semitism to a broader role of educating law enforcement, school children and other front-line individuals in lessons of tolerance and understanding, as well as how to rebut and deal with all acts and expressions of hate. They serve a great purpose and are a of valuable assistance to those who wish to protect the rights of all people.