About The Hands-on Project
The idea was developed both through the ingenuity and in blessed memory of Menachem Mozes.
Menachem not only survived Auschwitz but went on to live a full life in a modest fashion in the Land of Israel. He was always building, creative, and sensitive to all around him.
The Hands-on Project was founded in order to assist the weakest elements of Israeli society suffering from poor living conditions.
Many families, especially elderly and unhealthy people, suffer from lack of critical basic upkeep in their small apartments.
For example, water leaks, peeling walls, broken boilers, windows that don't close properly, etc...
Professionals charge at least $50/hour for a basic house visit, let alone the cost of materials that jump costs into hundreds of dollars.
In addition, professionals generally fix the one or two issues they are hired for, while many other issues remain unfixed due to the cost.
The net result is that many poor people simply don't hire any help and live in the cold, or in rooms with blackened walls. Sometimes, the situations are outright dangerous.
Generally, maintenance problems that are not dealt with get worst and lead to additional problems.
It is important to note that many people, especially the elderly, spend most of their days inside their home.
Our goal is to improve the most basic elements of their daily life.
How Do We Work
We organize groups of talented handyman volunteers to fix up apartments. Each group is around 6-10 people that donates their time - around 6 hours, once every few months - in the late afternoons or evenings.
The volunteers are generally not professionals. But they are talented with their hands, and experienced handyman.
The project leader checks out the apartment beforehand and prepares a thorough plan for the fix-it job - what to fix, what materials are needed, etc.
The volunteers generally bring their own tools. Our experience has shown us that their is a big advantage to setting up a volunteer group that is familiar with each other - it builds camaraderie and shows in the results.
Where is our budget from? Donations.
The only expense is materials. And even the materials are purchased at wholesale prices from outlets willing to support our endeavor.
In general, the budget for each fix-it job is $500 - $1,000. With each sum, our volunteers do wonders. In a typical job, we'll fix leaking sinks, ceiling fans, sewage problems, peeling paint, cracked walls, ceramic tile work, and even install full cabinets. The "real" cost of a typical fix-it job is around $3,000 - $5,000.
The fix-it jobs impact on the volunteers too. The Hands-on Project volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The volunteers become directly connected to the weakest sectors of Israeli society, and are challenged to come up with solutions in difficult circumstances. But at all times, they stay focused first and foremost on the needs of the people living in the apartment. The volunteers truly give it their very all with every job.
Each month, there are 2-3 major fix-it jobs in Jerusalem and Lod. Our goal is to extend our activities to the entire State of Israel.