I like to help people. It's one of the things I do, over the years I have figured out some pretty fun ways to help out, this is one of my favorites:
The first I ever did was JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options.) When I was in 3rd grade, just like every other year, my school did a christmas gift drive. They assigned each class two children (a boy and a girl.) Being jewish I always wondered how every jewish child had Chanukah gifts and none of them ever needed help. One day, while driving home from school I asked my mom. She responded with a simple answer, "But they do." Of course I didn't know what that meant.
Going into 4th grade, while cleaning my room, I decided I needed to help them. My mom went online and discovered JAFCO. They said they would take my old toys. I thought, "Great, now all the kids will get new toys to play with." I went to drop them off and realized all my toys wouldn't be enough for the kids at JAFCO. I was upset. But Chanukah was right around the corner.
I told my mom I wanted to help. She called up JAFCO and asked how we could help. Each child makes a wish list, 8 wishes, one per a night. I decided rather than taking a child's wish list and buying everything myself I would take it to the next level. I sent an email to my Cantor asking if I could get the whole religious school involved, the answer was of course, yes. The first year didn't turn out as well as it could have, my class took a child. Every year I would just ask the Cantor if I could do it again and she would always say yes. The second year I got the whole school involved, we fulfilled 2 children's wishes. Then the next to years we did 4 children. The the 5th year (this year) I decided to take it up another level, I got the congregation and whole religious school involved in JAFCO, we were able to fulfill 8 children's wishes. I hope to keep making JAFCO bigger and better and helping more children.
What can you do to help your community?