It is a Louisville Jewish community tradition to undertake a series of mitzvah projects to help people throughout the November/December holiday season. Amy Benovitz coordinates the effort, recruiting volunteers and collecting mitzvah opportunities.
“A heartfelt thank you from the agencies (and me), who appreciated the care and concern you showed by volunteering,” she said. “Whether you made, donated or served food, donated warm clothes (or checks) or made someone smile, thank you! Every option was full!”
Benovitz reported that Temple Shalom and Jewish Family & Career Services provided gifts and winter clothing for 49 needy Jewish children through the Hanukah Helpers programs. Volunteers also provided dinner for 70 residents of the Volunteer of America Family Shelter.
The Temple Sunday School students donated hats, gloves and scarves as well as 100 coats. They were distributed to Coalition for the Homeless, Volunteers of America, Schumann Center, and Central State Hospital.
There were hugs, food and gifts for the Wellspring Mental Health facilities parties. On December 24 and 25, Merry Mitzvah volunteers served meals at the Cathedral of the Assumption Soup Kitchen and St Vincent DePaul Open Hand Kitchen.
The Women of Temple Shalom served meals and mingled with clients of Maryhurst Girls Home, while other volunteers visited and served at the Ronald McDonald House, Cathedral of the Assumption Soup Kitchen, and St. Vincent DePaul Open Hand Kitchen.
There were many who helped Rabbi David prepare 500 sandwiches for clients at St Vincent DePaul’s Osnaman Center and volunteers repacked 250 food baskets so clients of the Schuhman Center of St. Martin of Tours shelter, which only served brunch on December 25, would have something to eat later that day.
Merry Mitzvah volunteers entertained at the Home of the Innocents and the Volunteers of America Family Shelter.
Benovitz is continuing to collect food, infant care items, coats, gloves, towels and blankets for the Coalition for the Homeless, Schuhman Center and the Volunteers of America Family Shelter. Several of these agencies help men who live outside, who really needed our sweaters, coats, blankets and new socks.
Benovitz also delivered grocery bags filled with cookies and candy from Paul’s Fruit Market to children at the Home of the Innocents all because the people at Paul’s overheard people talking to her about the Merry Mitzvah Projects.
Your donations help keep people who live outside warm and fed. The agencies requesting help need volunteers the rest of the year. Call them directly or contact Benovitz, 425-0373, to continue making a difference in our community. “Need has no season and every agency can use you any day,” Benovitz said.