ILAI Fund logo
|Founder||Albert Elay Shaltiel|
|Purpose||Providing funds for special needs children|
The ILAI Fund is a nonsectarian fund that assists under-privileged special needs, sick, or disabled children whose families are financially unable to meet their needs. The nonprofit organization was established in Israel in 2005 by Albert Elay Shaltiel and his wife Yael.
Both Albert and Yael were born in 1969 in Tehran, Iran, in the Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Centre, that later became an inspiration for their own charitable activities. The couple immigrated to Israel individually and were married in the year 2000. In 2005 their son Ilai Benyamin was born. As an expression of gratitude they founded and currently direct the charity which is named for their son. The fund's board is staffed entirely by volunteers.
The P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. approves The ILAI fund, allowing all donors to benefit from U.S.A tax free donations.
The ILAI Fund has a group of supporters from all over the world. The fund chose to title the supporters as Donating Angels because they financially and voluntarily support the ILAI Fund in its mission. They help to raise the funds needed to purchase special equipment for these families.
The ILAI Fund beneficiaries often have severe physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, autism or Down syndrome. ILAI’s objective is to help those families who have financial difficulties. Most of these children are of single parents and occasionally orphans. Their target population includes victims of polio and other illnesses, cancer patients, and children afflicted by accidents, wars or terrorism.
The fund chose the title heroes for the children because they find them brave and courageous and believe that these children are the true superheroes of the ILAI Fund.
Categories of Assistance
The ILAI Fund selects beneficiaries according to referrals from the social services. It provides children with a wide range of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, bath lifts, orthopedic shoes, splints and braces, diapers, eyeglasses, specialized computers, and hospital transportation costs. The fund also supplies special nutritional food, vitamins or medication that healthcare programs may not cover. The fund also arranges for physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and psychotherapy where needed. In addition, ILAI provides one-on-one caregivers and teachers. The ILAI Fund gives the children a chance to experience events that regular children take for granted, such as birthday celebrations, family outings, visits to zoos, parks and other recreational fun days. All these arrangements are possible with the help from the supporting donors.
The ILAI Fund has projects targeting specific needs within the Israeli society. One such project is called the iCan-iPad project and its aims are to provide funds for underprivileged families with children challenged by autism or cerebral palsy. The funds are provided in order to achieve two goals: to purchase iPads with applications especially suited for the children to communicate, learn, express their feelings and needs, and to pay for ABA Therapy that helps children with autism learn to communicate and function effectively, and aids in their education.
Other projects the ILAI Fund has are: iHear (providing funds for hearing aids), iMove (providing funds for Hart Walkers, special lifts for cars), iLive (providing funds for medicine, special nutrition and diapers) and iWin (providing funds for hydrotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy).
On top of its charitable activities the ILAI Fund is active in Holocaust remembrance. In 2018, the ILAI Fund took part in the Wreath-Laying Ceremony during Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem together with the Prime Minister of Israel and other notable public figures as well as many Holocaust survivors. ILAI Fund representatives laid down a wreath in the memory of around 300,000 often forgotten disabled and special needs victims of the Nazi regime that were persecuted and murdered as a part of a program the Nazis dubbed T-4.
Aiding Children in Foster Homes
The fund also assists children in foster homes and provides them with clothing, books, gifts, bed sheets, towels, toys and more. Children up to the age of ten are sent to such facilities by court order in cases where municipalities and social services find it necessary to remove them from harmful surroundings. An abusive, violent or dysfunctional home environment may be placing the child at risk, as well as addicted or alcoholic parents.
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