More than ever before, the community needs volunteers to step up to the plate and give back, and there’s no better time than the holiday season.
From Sunday, Dec. 20, to Friday, Dec. 25, Jewish Volunteer Connection will present “Community Mitzvah Week,” five consecutive days of opportunities for gemilut hasadim (acts of loving kindness) and helping community members in need.
Pivoting from what was previously known as “Community Mitzvah Day,” “Community Mitzvah Week” will offer a plethora of meaningful service activities and learning experiences — at home or socially distanced within the community — that are available for all ages, abilities, schedules and comfort levels.
“‘Community Mitzvah Day’ is always one of the highlights of our year, and we engage more than 1,500 volunteers in serving more than 4,000 people,” said JVC Executive Director Ashley Klapper. “We knew that we had to figure out how to still meet the needs of many organizations who have come to rely on us for service and donations on Christmas Day. Through our ‘Community Mitzvah Week’ program this year, we are continuing to engage volunteers and provide critical services in ways that are safe and comfortable for everyone and adhere to public health standards.”
JVC is the volunteer arm of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. Jmore, Brown Advisory and ShopRite are co-sponsors of “Community Mitzvah Week.”
Volunteering opportunities will be held at various sites and various times throughout the week.
“Community Mitzvah Week” volunteer gathering sites will include the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., on Dec. 24 from 10-11:45 a.m.; and the Park Heights JCC, 5700 Park Heights Ave., on Dec. 25 from 9-11:45 a.m. (In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, both locations will hold activities outside and participants must pre-register.)
Opportunities will include assembling winter care packages, making fleece blankets, packing lunches, preparing women’s self-care kits, writing notes of encouragement and creating mugs of love. Items will be distributed to various organizations and vulnerble individuals throughout the general community.
Volunteers are expected to assemble and deliver more than 2,000 care packages of winter essentials — hand-knitted scarves and hats by local community members, gloves, toiletries, snacks, etc. — to local homeless shelters.
For information about “Community Mitzvah Week,” visit jvcbaltimore.org/mitzvahweek.