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Gift For Life Issues Statement in Response to Killing of World Central Kitchen Relief Workers

Posted on 4/11/2024
Gift For Life Issues Statement in Response to Killing of World Central Kitchen Relief Workers

April 4, 2024… In response to Monday’s announcement that seven World Central Kitchen workers were killed during hunger relief operations in Gaza, Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led, national charitable organization, issued the following statement:

“We were shocked and saddened by yesterday’s news that seven World Central Kitchen relief workers were killed by Israeli airstrikes while delivering much needed aid to Gaza.  WCK sends teams and aid where they are desperately needed, which is quite often into harm’s way, so while this type of danger is not unknown to WCK, Chef Jose Andres has announced the suspension of WCK’s relief efforts in Gaza.  Since 2019, our industry has united to support WCK’s efforts to feed communities impacted by crisis, climate and conflict around the globe, and we stand united with Chef Andres, the WCK team and the families who lost loved ones. We also offer our hope for a swift return to peace that will allow their humanitarian efforts to resume.”

Gift for Life has updated the homepage of its website, www.giftforlife.org, with a banner honoring the WCK team members who were killed in Gaza.  The banner includes a link to WCK’s webpage with a list of the seven individuals’ names, photographs, countries of origin and WCK roles. 

Since 2021, Gift for Life has been uniting the gift and home industry to fundraise for World Central Kitchen’s crisis, climate and conflict-related hunger relief. With the industry’s help, WCK has provided nearly 100,000 hot, nutritious meals have been delivered to impacted communities.  Donations can be made to WCK’s general fund at https://donate.wck.org/giftforlife2024, or to one of Gift for Life’s current WCK campaigns – Home vs Hunger’s Party with a Purpose at High Point Market, Dorothy Belshaw’s Industry Achievement Award at the Retailer Excellence Awards in Dallas or Peter Schauben’s 70th Birthday at Atlanta Market – through www.giftforlife.org/donate.

The Gift for Life Board is comprised of 25 recognized leaders in the gift, home and stationery industries. Current members include: Jessica Barile of Design Works Collective; Kelly Bristol of Just Got 2 Have It; Taylor Brunson of Softies; Sheila Charton of Zafferano America; Randa Crisler of The Portico Collection, Inc.; Cole Daugherty of Dallas Market Center; Kate Duff of Claxton Consulting; Lindsay Duncan of Patrick & Company; Carolyn Geremia of Beekman 1802; Colleen Hall of C&F Enterprises; Emalee Hoffman of CMA Gifts; Angela Jacobson of AMJ Consulting; Russ Jones of Ivystone; Carlos E. Llanso of Legacy Publishing; Amy Loewenberg of NY NOW at  Emerald X; Ari Lowenstein of Emergent Workshop/Ari’s Pantry; Julie McCallum of Gift Shop Plus; Kim Mancuso-Telford of NY NOW; Landon Metts of MarketTime; Sarah Mount of ANDMORE; Peter Schauben of  Schauben & Co.; Angela Schmook of Road Runners; Michelle Sherrier of MC Design Collaboration and host of The Retail Whore Podcast; Cathy Steel of Steel Associates; and Lenise Willis of Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers, and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. In 2021, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on supporting World Central Kitchen’s COVID-related hunger relief. Since that time, Gift for Life has led gift and home industry efforts to fund provision of nearly 100,000 hot, nutritious meals to communities impacted by crisis and conflict worldwide. Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led, national charitable organization, continues to support year-round programs that address hunger relief, as well as annual support for AIDS Walk NY which benefits GMHC’s HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and advocacy programs. More information is available atwww.giftforlife.org

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit organization that is first to the frontlines providing fresh meals in response to crises, while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. Applying a model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, WCK has served more than 300 million nourishing meals around the world. When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. To support regional economies, WCK prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. WCK knows that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis. Learn more atwck.org.

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