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.
The ILAI Fund is a recognized nonprofit organization that was founded by the Shaltiels, a family with Iranian roots.
Both Albert and Yael were born in 1969 in Tehran, Iran in the Dr. Sapir Jewish Hospital and Charity Center. 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 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.
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 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.