About United Chesed
CHESED means kindness in Hebrew. In contrast to tzedakah, the Hebrew word for charity, chesed implies a giving that builds community and is generated out of a loving personal connection.
Our Mission: To offer urgent, short-term relief to families and individuals in crisis situations and to distribute food, furniture, household goods, medical supplies, and other essential resources to those in need.
Our Goal: To foster a community that supports and stabilizes those struggling with poverty, enabling us all to move forward optimistically into a brighter future.
United Chesed of Toronto is a not-for-profit organization established by Dr. Brian Price in 2003. Its primary mandate is to aid members of the Toronto Jewish community who find themselves facing severe financial difficulties.
The number of Jews living in poverty in Toronto is a staggering 24,000, 10% of which are children. These families struggle every day just to keep food on the table. They live in fear, knowing that even the smallest added expense can create an unbearable burden. When crisis strikes, the impoverished, especially the elderly and people with disabilities, can’t wait for bureaucratic delays to receive support. Their issues require quick responses – whether in the form of food, bill payments, or direction – to get them back on their feet fast.
This is where United Chesed steps in. We respond with immediacy, care, and discretion to the urgent, short-term needs of Jews from all walks of life and religious observance. Through our vast online network we engage and involve the entire community to develop creative and timely solutions. Each year, we provide thousands of dollars in funds to cover pressing expenses such as rent, heating, and electricity, and distribute thousands of dollars in food coupons. In addition, we facilitate hundreds of donations of furniture, appliances, household items, toys and medical equipment, and run numerous drives including annual School Supplies, Toiletry, and Holiday Food Drives. Finally, we offer our clients long term direction by connecting them to community organizations, social service agencies and other useful resources.
Read more about what we do here.
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“Your help has enabled my family and kids to survive and keep going at certain very challenging times. United Chesed helps, not only to alleviate the current symptom but to also get you back on your feet.”
“I returned to Canada recently after the sudden death of my husband from cancer. My two children and I are trying to piece back a life and your help and support have been essential in our return to the Toronto community. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and commend you on your great work! “
“Thank you so much; I do not know what to say. Tonight... I went shopping for food. $7 was left, I hate this feeling of being scared that there is not enough money, that I can’t pay bills, and I do not answer the phone because of it. I look forward to the day when I too can help others. Love to you.”
“At a time when my life was in an unfortunate upheaval, I was overwhelmed with an avalanche of difficulties, complicated by my physical symptoms of shock. United Chesed came through like an unexpected anonymous extended family.”
"I can’t put into words how grateful I am to you for keeping my dignity in tact! I haven’t gone grocery shopping in months: I manage though, I just don’t go crying to people. After my bills are paid, rent, utilities, and drugs, insurance etc... there is not much left... Again, thank you for your kindness and understanding!”
“The work that you do is absolutely amazing. I hope Hashem continues to bless you in daily endeavors. I have never seen real-time help in action such as at United Chesed: it is so humbling. Thank you for allowing me to participate.”