THE idea of making a positive difference to the world was the catalyst for the creation of Mitzvah Day in 2008 — and on Sunday, November 18, Jewish communities around Australia, and the world — will come together again to participate in another day of good-deed-doing.
The annual event sees individuals and groups of all ages and abilities gather to spend one day volunteering on a variety of different community projects on offer. Projects are registered online, and individuals can view the options before deciding where to volunteer their time.
Since it began the grassroots Mitzvah Day movement has grown expontentially, with over 40,000 people in 24 countries participating last year.
This year, more than 60 projects will be happening, covering a gamut of areas — including charitable, social justice, and environmental concerns.
Knowing that these mitzvot will bring a little joy to many people is what organiser Kerryn Lowe is looking forward to most for the day.
“[The hope is that] participants make a positive difference while having a rewarding experience doing their activity. Perhaps they will continue their volunteering with the group organising the project,” shared Lowe.
Our Kitchen Table (OKT) started in 2015 and has been a participating project of Mitzvah Day ever since. The group aims to bring people together in a relaxed and informal manner to nosh and shmooze while creating much needed items for charity.
First, it was scarves, with a goal of producing 1,500 scarves in three months for Impact for Women. Now, OKT has evolved where it runs several activity “pods” each week, various groups of volunteers dedicated to crafting beautiful items for those in need.
This Mitzvah Day, OKT invites busy hands to assist in painting pots, sewing aprons, dolls and scarves, knitting, and making French bracelets.
The lovingly created objects will become gifts to be included in the welcome care packs “for women and children living in safe house accomodation, who need to know that there are kind people in this world wanting to help and support them,” told OKT founder and CEO Liz Davidson.
She continued, “As Mitzvah Day epitomises the essence of community, we are looking forward to the feeling of unity, friendship and social interaction that mitzvah day represents and that forms the basis of kindness and generosity.”
To learn more or volunteer for a Mitzvah Day project, visit http://mitzvahday.org.au