Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mitzvah Magic

Image: Tailored Type on Zazzle
One of my favorite aspects of the bar & bat mitzvahs my kids have been attending over the past couple of years is learning about new charities, and in some cases new ways for teens to help their peers, through the many bar and bat mitzvah projects their friends have chosen to undertake. Mitzvah projects are a terrific opportunity for a concentrated kids-helping-kids effort. A few ideas (with thanks to the Mitzvah Circle Foundation for the first 4 suggestions!)

~ Start a "Lids for Kids" campaign, collecting cool new hats -- baseball caps for summer, fun knits for winter -- to donate to the pediatric cancer center at an area hospital.

~If you know of an organization that works with teen moms, ask your synagogue or school to help you throw a "baby shower": put a crib or pack-and-play in the lobby and ask people to fill it up with new baby supplies, from clothing to diapers.

~Collect gently used board games for an area agency that works with low-income youth, or even for the offices of local counselors/social workers who express a need for games (no, the iPad hasn't made them obselete; board games are still great icebreakers & relationship builders).

~Collect gently used sports equipment for the nearest Boys & Girls Club, YMCA or other agency that offers youth sports programs for kids/teens in need.

~Run a lemonade stand [ or three ;) ] for Alex's Lemonade.

~Gather friends, or host a party, to make no-sew blankets for Project Linus.

~Go green, collecting gently used plastic toys for Secondhand Toys.

~Make dreams come true by running a Make-a-Wish Kids for Wish Kids project.

~Knit newborn hats for From Ewe to You.

~Have a sleepover and collect new PJs for the Pajama Program.

~ Do like Riley Goodfellow and eat rice & beans for a month (hey, she did it at 8!), donating the grocery money you save to an organization that fights youth hunger, or to charity:water like Riley did.

~ Organize a spare change campaign to help kids.

Done with your kids-helping-kids mitzvah project? Take it a step further by choosing bar / bat mitzvah party supplies that benefit Save the Children.

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