Baltimore, MD - Jan. 2, 2019 - They came out in droves. More than 1,400 volunteers spread across two JCC campuses and at 25 locations throughout the Baltimore community came to give back – to help those in need.
Some made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that went to Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. Others packed 2,000 winter care packages, each filled with a hand-knit scarf, hat, food and toiletries, to be delivered to Baltimoreans in need. And still other families spent their mornings and afternoons, serving lunch and dinner to seniors or played games and made crafts with individuals with disabilities.
“It’s beautiful to see the Jewish community – young and old – families and couples – take time off from their busy schedules to make the lives of those in need a little brighter,” said Ashley Pressman, JVC’s executive director. JVC is the volunteer arm of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore.
“Mitzvah Day and JVC’s other days of service have become an important tradition for our family,” says Chana Dena Pollak, who has participated in several of JVC’s large annual events and recently joined the JVC board. “I love that we can contribute to making a difference in someone’s life. At the same time, it’s wonderful to see our Jewish community come together and instill the Jewish values of tikkun olam across the generations.”
Mitzvah Day was established 13 years ago and has since become a tradition for many in the Jewish community as a way to give back and is one of JVC’s four annual days of service. The other days are the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January, Good Deeds Day in April in conjunction with the Ruach Tovah Foundation in Israel, and a fall event focused on community unity that will be held in August or September. .
On MLK Day, January 21, 2019, JVC will host its MLK Day of Service Community project at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC. Participants will learn about ongoing social issues in age-appropriate service learning sessions while participating in projects like making blessing bags.
In addition, volunteers are invited to participate in community service projects, held throughout Baltimore, from supervising activities such as sports and arts and crafts with Game Changers, a Living Classrooms program that provides free health and wellness programming for students when Baltimore City schools are closed to serving dinner at the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. Registration is at jvcbaltimore.org.