On Sunday, May 6th, 400+ Temple Beth Am Religious School students, 50+ parents and 30+ teachers could be found hard at work on multiple mitzvah projects to serve our community. The positive energy in the classrooms was palpable and smiles were everywhere. This year, nine different grade levels from PreKindergarten (our 4 year olds) all the way up to our 7th graders learned about the many critical needs throughout our community. Each grade level found a special way to impact those in need.
Some of the highlights of the day were:
– PreK children helped to make catnip toys for newly adopted kitty cats at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
– Kindergarteners created colorful collages of happy faces which were then turned into laminated placemats for residents of Providence Elderplace.
– Our joyful, energetic 1st grade students visited Ida Culver House and entertained the residents with songs, storybook reading, and colorful drawings.
– The staff at Treehouse, http://www.treehouseforkids.org/ an organization that serves the needs of foster children, requested kid-created stationary. Our 2nd graders did a fabulous job producing the requested stationary.
– Our industrious 3rd grade students prepared a meal for homeless teens. An excellent speaker from Teenfeed www.teenfeed.org helped the students understand the causes of teen homelessness.
– Mary’s Place, http://marysplaceseattle.org/ a community center serving homeless women and their children, was the recipient of more than 100 personal hygiene kits. These kits were lovingly assembled by our 4th graders and an encouraging note was added to each kit.
– The 5th grade students tackled the problem of hungry families. Our students converted bulk dry goods (rice, beans, sugar and rolled oats) into family-sized portions. They also provided useful recipes for the food.
– The Downtown Emergency Services Center http://www.desc.org/needed artwork to make apartments seem more welcoming and home-like for residents moving away from homelessness. Our 6th graders eagerly shared their creative skills making the needed wall hangings.
– The 7th grade students and parents tackled environmental restoration work at the Beaver Pond Natural Area under the supervision of EarthCorps http://earthcorps.org/. It was a great day to be outside repairing the world.
We would like to express a huge thank you to all who participated, all of the TBA rabbis and administrators who supported our efforts, the custodial staff who took care of many needed room modifications, and congregants who gave time and donations.
Sandy Cobel and Peter Gruenbaum, 2012 Mitzvah Day Co-Chairs