Pirkei Avot teaches us that it is not up to us to complete the work of tikkun olam, repairing the world, but we are also not free to ignore it.
The children participating in summer camp at the Jewish Community Center this summer also learned that it’s never to early to start making a difference when they participated in the Week of Caring and Sharing, July 19-23. Their goal: raise money for Jewish Family & Career Services’ Sonny and Janet Meyer Family Food Pantry.
Every camp group was involved in a swim-a-thon for which campers got friends and family members to make pledges and give donations.
- The Penguins (kindergarteners) traveled around the JCC and sang songs for tips.
- The Dolphins (kindergarteners and first graders) made bracelets. They sold both their handiwork and lemonade.
- The Ducks (first graders) made and decorated sugar cookies, which they sold with lemonade.
- The Tigers and Elephants (second graders) made chocolate chip cookies, which they sold with lemonade.
- The Monkeys (third graders) were servers at the pool, and brought people their food from the café for tips.
- Camp Chaverim (fourth, fifth and sixth graders) washed cars.
All told, the campers raised $1,230.
Campers in the Community Service Camp (sixth, seventh and eighth graders) then took approximately $522.86 and went shopping for the food pantry. The balance of the money, $707.14, will soon be sent to JFCS for the Food Pantry.
So campers could enjoy their success, a ceremonial check of $530 was presented to JFCS Executive Director Judy Freundlich Tiell in a camp-wide celebration before the final figures were in.
They were able to purchase 11 boxes of tissues, 36 toilet paper rolls, eight paper towel rolls, 40 boxes of cereal, six boxes of pancake mix, 11 boxes of cereal bars, 60 small raisin boxes, 40 pudding cups, 12 fruit bowls, six boxes of fruit snacks, four boxes of popcorn, seven boxes of crackers, 13 jars of peanut butter; seven jars of mustard and seven bottles of ketchup.
Also, six jars of spaghetti sauce, five toothbrushes, five tubes of toothpaste, four bottles of spic & span, seven jars of mayonnaise, five jars of apple sauce, eight jars of grape jelly, 17 cans of canned fruits and vegetables, eight bottles of syrup, 11 bottles of laundry detergent, five packages of razors, five cans of shaving cream, four bottles of comet, two containers of Clorox wipes, five sticks of deodorant, six salt and pepper shakers, five bottles of shampoo, 30 bars of soap, seven bottles of 409 cleaner and two sponges.
Community Service Campers also did projects all week with JFCS, Volunteers of America, Gilda’s Club and more.
Throughout the summer, campers have been participating in tikkun olam projects. Camp Keff had an intergenerational Shabbat lunch with the Senior Department, went to Four Courts, and with the help of Community Service campers, wrote letters to Israeli soldiers.
Campers also made Fourth of July cards, visited JFCS to learn about the food pantry and donated vegetables from the garden at the JCC and more.
The Jewish Community Center is part of the Jewish Community of Louisville.