The event will kick off at 9:00 am with speakers from three local organizations sharing their missions and their ongoing needs with our Mitzvah Day attendees. Afterwards, members can roll up their sleeves and participate in one or more of eight different on-site mitzvah activities from making blankets from fleece, sleeping mats out of “plain” or building kits for various local organizations that have patrons in need of food stuffs and other items. There will be additional opportunities such as making cards for local healthcare workers and Gidwitz residents and helping with the Used Book sale clean up and organization.
Families Helping Families – buy items to make weekend fun and journal kits for kids in underserved communities. Click sign up to participate for details.
Gratitude Generation – bring all of your plastic bags and recycle them into “plarn” a plastic yarn that is woven into mats that are given to homeless people to sleep on.
HIAS – Beth El is looking for volunteers to help resettle immigrants moving to Chicago. Help secure furniture, household items, mentor and more. Learn what you can do to help at Mitzvah Day.
Highwood Public Library – supplies will be provided to make craft bags for children in the Highwood community.
Moraine Township Food Pantry – bring three simple items (soup, crackers and cookies) and create a free meal giveaway for Moraine Township Food Pantry to give out to customers.
PORCH – a community effort to help food pantries keep their shelves stocked by buying groceries once per month and putting them on your porch. Sign up to participate, or be a volunteer in your neighborhood.
Project Linus – bring fleece and scissors and learn how to make a simple blanket given to children in the hospital to bring them comfort while going through difficult procedures and treatment.
Working Bikes – a local bike shop with a big impact. Taking used bikes, refurbishing them and sending them all over the world to empower those that desperately need transportation. Bring your used bikes with you and donate them.
You can also help out with additional projects while you are there. We will have a card making station for local healthcare professionals and Gidwitz residents. You can also help clean up the Used Book Sale and sort books that will be donated to other organizations.
Here are the results of last year’s Season of Mitzvot:
• 36 bikes donated to Working Bikes
• a full van of electronics collected for Blue Star Recycling
• Numerous bags of personal hygiene items donated to the ARK
• 20 families donated groceries for “Porch Project” for COOL Pantry in Waukegan
Gratitude Generation Collections 2021
• 39 Bye Bye Boredom Bags (summer toys and games)
• 18 Gratitude Gift Bags (birthday supply kits)
Summer 2021 Drives
• Collected $4,298.00 for Jewish Federation of Greater Miami
• Collected 180 multi-packs of toothbrushes for Gratitude Generation for distribution at the Northern Illinois Foodbank
• Collecting for the Rachel Kantrowitz Memorial Toy and Baby Equipment Drive
• Volunteers needed for Maot Chitim holiday deliveries on August 29.
As you arrive for the High Holidays this year, glance at the new banners on the poles in our parking lot. Each represents a tenet of our congregation: prayer, learning, community, and acts of loving kindness (or chesed).
With these collections and donations, we have made an important impact on our local community as well as those beyond it. Helping others who are struggling and in need, is an ongoing commitment of our Social Action Committee. We endeavor to engage the participation of everyone in our congregation. Thank you to all those who have stepped up. We hope we can continue to count on your “acts of loving kindness” in the year to come.
If you would like to become part of the Social Action Committee at Beth El, Terri Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.