I first got involved in Mitzvah Day as a little kid. My first memory of this event was the giant pile of bagels in the middle of the room – and then we (as a family) helped decorate bags for meal prep items/food to go home with the students at The Freedom School.
When I was old enough, I applied to volunteer over the summer at the Shalom Park Freedom School site and wanted to do something else for the scholars. I thought it might be hard for kids to be motivated to attend school over the summer. I know I like to have all of my own new binders and notebooks colorful and “pretty” at the start of each school year – it somehow makes school more enjoyable for me – it screams “fresh start!” I wanted the scholars at Freedom School to feel like I do when I get my new binders – excited about a new beginning. That is how I came up with the idea to decorate journal covers for the scholars. It was pretty cool to see the journals in use when I volunteered last summer. These journals are used several times a week – and we have gotten lots of positive feedback from the site coordinator and teacher interns at the Shalom Freedom School site – as well as a request for them to be made again for this summer!
I hope TBE families understand it is super important to volunteer and how even small things can make a huge impact. Bring your little ones to volunteer to show them from a young age how much fun it can be to volunteer together. There are projects for all ages to participate – and don’t forget to grab a bagel!
**CHANNEL YOUR INNER ARTIST! Please consider participating in the Shalom Freedom School Journal Package on Mitzvah Day. We will be decorating journal covers for the scholars. Great project for ages 12+ who love to draw. Register here!
Rachel Choffin is a 10th grader at Providence High School. She is serving her second term on the Shalom Park Freedom School Teen Board and is also a Hebrew tutor at TBE. In her free time, she loves to hang out with friends and do anything related to Harry Potter or Marvel!