Despite menacing overcast skies and sporadic rain, approximately 800 volunteers in the local Jewish community turned out on April 15, for “Good Deeds Day.”
Organized locally by Jewish Volunteer Connection, a program of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the annual day of community service is a global event that unites people from more than 90 countries to improve their communities.
The Jewish Federation of Howard County also participated in the all-day event. Activities in the Columbia area included an American Red Cross blood drive at Temple Isaiah in Fulton; a packing party at Bet Yeladim Preschool for “comfort cases” for foster care children; making “blessing bags” at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center for low-income households; and serving lunches at the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center.
JVC organized more than 15 volunteer opportunities throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area for “Good Deeds Day.” Families and individuals of all ages and backgrounds participated in an array of activities, including a stream cleanup with CHAI around the Western Run Stream; painting at a local pediatric hospital; serving meals to the homeless and indigent; a park cleanup at Leon Day Park, hosted by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks; preparing care packages; and knitting scarves and hats for the needy.
Volunteers also helped sort sports equipment for under-funded sports programs in the city at the Leveling the Playing Field organization’s warehouse; facilitated activities for senior citizens at the Atrium and Friendship Circle at Atrium Village; and utilized various technology to help close-caption Jewish videos for people who are hard of hearing at the Macks Center for Jewish Education.
Also, “Good Deeds Day” participants were encouraged to attend the annual community-wide Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, event later that afternoon at Pikesville’s Chizuk Amuno Congregation.
The commemoration, presented by the Baltimore Jewish Council, was “A Tribute to the Human Spirit: Verdi’s Requiem,” with more than 200 musicians and vocalists, featuring Bach in Baltimore and conducted by T. Herbert Dimmock. Participants included the Morgan State University Choir; soprano Natanya Washer; tenor Dr. Min Jin; bass Jeffrey William; and Chizuk Amuno’s Hazzan Emanuel C. Perlman.
“Good Deeds Day” is among JVC’s largest annual events. JVC matches volunteers with hands-on service projects throughout Baltimore. Each year, the organization helps volunteers give back at schools, shelters, hospitals, synagogues and organizations throughout the area.
For information, visit jvcbaltimore.org or call 410-843-7490.