Tips for Nonprofits
'Heart to Plate' is bringing generations together
Adi Singer
April 27, 2022

Raisa, an 80 year old holocaust survivor, has been living alone since her beloved husband passed away. Without any remaining relationships in her life, she longs for personal connection. Hannah, an 80 year old woman living with her son who suffers from a disability, had to sell all their jewelry simply to buy food. 

In our hectic everyday lives, we hear these stories almost all the time. They come up in our social media feeds, or on the news. 

For Matan Asulin and Ronnie Lee, these were not just stories you hear about and move on, it was a call to action. They started what would become ‘Heart to Plate’ (“מהלב לצלחת”), an amazing nonprofit that connects lonely and elderly people in need, with a community of volunteers who take care of them by providing a hot Shabbat dinner and ongoing human interaction.

First steps to making a difference

“Covid was when it all began”, says Matan. “We heard about an elderly woman who was asking for food for Shabbat. She was asking for some meat or fish”, he recalls. “It was heartbreaking to know that there were elderly folks out there that needed to ask for food. We thought there must be quite a few good people who could share some of their food and give it to an elderly neighbor living alone”.

They started with a pilot program a year and a half ago, alongside their studies. Determined to make it work, they gave up high tech position offers and focused on their vision. The pilot was aimed at helping 5 elderly people, but soon many volunteers joined in and the program grew to helping 60 elderly participants. During Sukkot holiday more friends came together and the activity increased to serve 250 senior citizens.    

Photograph by David Malka

Two hours once a month bring so much joy

Today Matan and Ronnie are Heart to Plate’s Co-CEOs, and its community of volunteers includes 400 people, taking care of 160 senior citizens through a group volunteering model: every 4 volunteers take care of 2 elderly people. 

Once a month, each team member prepares a home-cooked meal for two participants and delivers it to them.

The “once-a-month” model makes it easy for volunteers to continue giving, and allows for the program’s participants to receive a warm visit and a meal every Friday.

“We work with high tech companies that volunteer either consistently or on holidays, as well as with schools, youth movements and local communities”, says Ronnie. 

Endless ways to help out, even from home

“We also have skill-based volunteering options, in which volunteers help us out according to capabilities they have, such as volunteer management and coordination, web and system development, organizational consulting, graphic design, photography and much more”, Matan adds.

In time it became clear that food wasn’t the only element the program’s participants were missing. Many who were calling to ask for food were really longing most for simple human connection - love, affection, a supportive environment, someone that cares.   

“Food is not just ingredients put together”, says one of the nonprofit’s volunteers, “that moment when you share your food is also when you share a piece of your heart”.

So let’s go back to the story about Hannah and her son. Today they are surrounded by amazing volunteers who take care of all their needs, from missing equipment and repair work around the house, to celebrating birthdays together and driving them to checkups as needed. “To us, that’s the meaning of a supportive community”, says Matan. 

And as for Raisa, she now has many new relationships in her life:

Raisa with Heart to Plate's Volunteers. Photograph by David Malka

Join the mission!

‘Heart to Plate’ aims to grow and serve tens of thousands of people in need all across Israel, and seeks partners for the road ahead that will help increase the nonprofit’s activity and ensure its stability. ”We know this goal is possible and will give our all to achieve it”, says Ronnie.

So if you’re touched by this incredible mission and want to lend a hand, there are plenty of ways to do it -
Russian speaker? Perfect! The organization is looking for Russian speaking volunteers to communicate with a large number of the program’s elderly participants.

Copywriter, web developer, graphic designer or just really good at coordinating volunteers?
Reach out and find out how you can help!

In just 2-3 hours a month, we can make sure no one is left alone in a time of need, and create a strong, happy community.  

Share it with others

Be the change
Our team of experts will help you make your impact goals a reality.
Resources for Teams
"I Rode a Horse Today"
How volunteering on a farm can help change lives.
Resources for Teams
"Love and humanity will save the world": 3 personal stories from Ukraine
These stories moved and inspired us, and we know you'll feel the same.
Tips for Nonprofits
'Heart to Plate' is bringing generations together
How two students decided to bring joy to elderly folks living alone
Resources for Teams
3 Reasons To Adopt Skill-Based Volunteering Today
Spoiler alert: it's the easiest way to attract and retain top talent.
Resources for Teams
5 Huge Companies That Pay Employees to Volunteer
Why the world's greatest companies pay their employees to volunteer
Resources for Teams
5 Trendy Ways to Engage Employees and Boost Motivation
Show interest, build community, cooperate, communicate, and...
Tips for Nonprofits
Action Tutoring is closing attainment gaps all over England
Volunteering as a tutor for just 8 hours can have a great impact.
Resources for Teams
An HR Guide for Returning to the Workplace After COVID-19
4 steps to a smooth return to the office and renewed growth.
Resources for Teams
Are you hiring?
Why you should prioritize candidates who volunteer
Resources for Teams
Best Places to Volunteer this Thanksgiving
Meaningful opportunities in NYC, San Francisco, London, and Florida.
Tips for Nonprofits
Children in Care
We must talk about youth at risk of abuse, exploitation, or neglect.
Resources for Teams
Employee Volunteering: Why is it Important for Business?
Volunteering boosts employee pride, retention, and development.
Tips for Nonprofits
Enjoy Every Moment: A Conversation with The CMT4B3 Research Foundation
When 3-year-old Hunter got his diagnosis, his parents took action.
Resources for Teams
Everyone Loves a Good Post: A How-to Guide for Impact-Driven Social Media Managers
How to share authentic and inspirational content about volunteering.
Resources for Teams
Hand in Hand (Hebrew)
A special video in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
Resources for Teams
Have You Tried These 5 Surprising Activities in NYC?
Looking for something exciting beyond those classic summer activities?
Resources for Teams
How Can Employee Volunteering Improve Your Employer Branding?
3 reasons why volunteering will boost your brand image right away.
Tips for Nonprofits
How a Wall Street Professional Became a Climate Activist
Three days after 9/11, Soledad Haren began a new journey in life.
Tips for Nonprofits
How to Leverage Corporate Volunteering for Your Nonprofit
Learn how to build trusting relationships with qualified volunteers.
Tips for Nonprofits
How to Recruit Volunteers Online
Learn to recruit volunteers on Vee's simple platform
Hurricane Ian - Vee SOS
Donations, medical assistance, food delivery, and more.
Learn how to make your startup a reality
An entrepreneur's journey: special live webinar with May Piamenta
Resources for Teams
Tell Us Your Zodiac Sign and We’ll Reveal What the Universe Has in Store for You
Click to reveal how good you really are.
The Future Impact Podcast | Ep. 2 - Roni Ezuz
We're back with practical tips to measure & optimize your impact!
The Future of Impact Podcast | Ep. 1 - Dan Valach
Welcome to the very first episode of Vee's brand-new podcast!
The Future of Impact Podcast | Ep. 3 - Sofia Assab
Why volunteering is key to ESG & what your competitors are doing.
Resources for Teams
The Great Resignation and the Greater Good
Volunteering will help you attract and retain top talent.
Tips for Nonprofits
The Hunger Crisis
By 2030, more than 840 million people are expected to be hungry.
Resources for Teams
Unite These 3 Teams to Crush Your ESG Goals
These 3 teams need to have a shared, crystal-clear vision for soci
Vee are the People: Meet Adam Folkman Lubrani
How one nonprofit helped small businesses survive covid lockdowns.
Vee are the People: Meet Daniel Kovler
This startup founder with ADHD is changing STEM education for good.
Vee are the People: Meet Gadi Solomon
Gadi's main goal is to make volunteering part of his company's DNA.
Vee are the People: Meet Gili Singer
How one woman connects with African refugees in Israel through dance.
Vee are the People: Meet Inbar Shashua Bar-Nir
Providing grants to help rehabilitate small businesses post-covid
Vee are the People: Meet Kama Berman
An actress shares her insights on the healing power of the arts.
Vee are the People: Meet Keren Sade
How volunteers can find hope in seemingly hopeless situations
Vee are the People: Meet Leah Tonic
A movement of mutual aid takes a stand against oppression.
Vee are the People: Meet Maayan Zweig
The role of Impact Development Consultants in social entrepreneurship.
Vee are the People: Meet Michal Ben Shabtay
How kids are volunteering to help their friends with disabilities
Vee are the People: Meet Mor Cheayat
Mor has found a way to nourish her soul by protecting the vulnerable.
Vee are the People: Meet Mor Yahav Peretz
This week's interview is with Mor Yahav Peretz
Vee are the People: Meet Ori Knafo
Leveraging innovative approaches to support students in rural Israel.
Tips for Nonprofits
Vee are the People: Meet Roee Shpernik
Using photography to raise awareness for those without a voice.
Vee are the People: Meet Sagi Braitner
This singer, actor, and beatboxer found his purpose by volunteering.
Vee are the People: Meet Sheggy Shachar
The life of an ecological activist and entrepreneur in the desert.
Vee are the People: Meet Shiran Nissan
The Princess of Volunteering shares her story and expert tips.
Vee are the People: Meet Yaara Zered
Standing up to injustice and seeking truth as an EMT and a journalist.
Webinar: How Volunteering Can Boost Your Financial Performance
Join our webinar on Monday, May 23, 2022.
Webinar: Transform your organization by empowering women
Get practical tips to recruit more women to your organization and empo
Resources for Teams
When's the last time you did something for the first time?
Volunteering helps you learn new things, meet new people, and grow.
Resources for Teams
Why is it important to volunteer?
Volunteers help community members understand that they're valued.
Tips for Nonprofits
Win $1,000 for your women-led nonprofit!
We're giving away $1k to 1 women-led nonprofit in NYC for Women's Day.