Just 5 is a unique charitable platform designed to make the mitzvah of giving tzedakah more efficient and effective. Unique because it is managed by 12 college students who volunteer their time as the board of this powerful organization. Unique because all 350 members contribute the exact same amount, just $5, each month. Unique because its carefully vetted recipients feel the love of not just one donor, but an entire community of supporters that are there to help them through their difficulties. Unique because this program has the goal of changing the way college students across the country engage the mitzvah of tzedakah.
Just 5 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to helping families in need through its donors, who each give five dollars a month. Founded in November 2013 by two friends, Mahyar Asher Eghbali
“Our OU-JLIC family has been so important in our growth as an organization here at UCLA. The environment they have created at UCLA has fostered personal development and community building, all of which have strengthened Just 5.”
Aaron Shahmaram, a current UCLA student and the Just 5 Account Manager said, “Our OU-JLIC family has been so important in our growth as an organization here at UCLA. The environment they have created at UCLA has fostered personal development and community building, all of which have strengthened Just 5. The OU-JLIC Directors, Rabbi Aryeh and Sharona Kaplan, have opened so many doors and provided us with opportunities that have helped us spread the mitzvah of chesed and tzedakah, including space to meet and food for our meetings.”
Initially, Just 5 members were recruited through word of mouth and active promotions at events. More recently, the organization has shifted its focus to college students, encouraging them to donate and recruit friends’ participation.
Shahmaram concluded, “Helping families who battle adversity return to a more comfortable position is how we can make the biggest impact with our funds. We also make sure that 100% of the money raised by Just 5 goes straight to those in need.”
A monthly newsletter is circulated to donors informing them of the donation, while preserving the anonymity of the recipients. Shahmaram stated, “Transparency is a priority for us and we believe that our donors deserve to know exactly how their money is being used.”