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Archive for : Christmas

Seasons of Giving: Where to Volunteer This Christmas?

It may not be a Jewish holiday, but Christmas still has Jewish traditions. Like watching movies. And eating at Chinese restaurants. And volunteering! All around the country, thousands of Jews take advantage of the day off, and volunteer at soup kitchens, shelters, nursing homes, and community centers.

This year, join in the holiday action! Here are a few great ways to plug in and volunteer this Christmas.

Washington DC JCC Join 1,000 other volunteers for a day of service on Christmas Day. Activities include everything from wrapping and delivering gifts, to serving meals, to performing songs for hospital patients.

Jewish Muslim Day of Service, St. Louis In this uniquely awesome event on Christmas Day, Jews and Muslims come together on Christmas to serve others. They are also running a huge toiletry drive to serve people in need.

Pittsburgh Christmas Mitzvah Day The Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh is organizing a huge mitzvah day on Christmas. There will be opportunities to care for the sick, volunteer at an animal shelter, feed hungry people – and more.

Jewish Volunteer Connection, Baltimore Join hundreds of volunteers in making the holiday brighter for others by participating in this mitzvah day. Opportunities include making and delivering care packages, welcoming home troops serving abroad, volunteering at a local shelter.

JUF Mitzvah Mania, Chicago On Dec 25, visit elderly residents at the CJE SeniorLife Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation as part of JUF’s mitzvah mania event.

Tikun: Light up a Life, London If you live in London and want to make a difference during the Christmas season, check out Tikun’s great, multi-day program. Activities include everything from bringing chocolates to seniors, arts and crafts projects with the disabled, and tea runs for the homeless.

Know of another great volunteer opportunity for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

8 Nights of Service: Volunteer The Day After Christmas

Welcome to Repair the World’s 8 Nights of Service: awesome volunteer projects, donation opportunities and tikkun olam ideas to bring service to the center of your Hanukkah celebration!

In America, being Jewish on Christmas has come to mean a few things – namely catching up on the latest movies and eating lots of delicious Chinese food. (You can find out why here.)

Many Jewish families also spend Christmas day volunteering at nearby shelters and soup kitchens. Along with Thanksgiving, Christmas is one of the busiest volunteer days of the year – some charities even have to turn away well-meaning volunteers, because they simply have too much help. The day (and weeks) after Christmas are a different story. With work beginning again for some, and families heading off on winter break vacations, many charities have trouble recruiting help throughout the month January.

Volunteering to help others on Christmas is a fabulous way to spend a day off, but the need for help remains beyond the holiday. This Hanukkah, bring the holiday volunteering spirit with you into the rest of the year. Here are a few resources to get you started:

Find a shelter.

    The National Coalition for the Homeless offers ideas and resources to help plug into volunteer opportunities, and links to a few national databases so you can locate a shelter nearby.

Find a soup kitchen.

    Feeding America, an anti-hunger organization lets you search by zip code to find a soup kitchen near you.

Donate to Mazon,

    The Jewish response to hunger. Don’t have the time to volunteer in person? Your donated funds to Mazon go to help organizations working on the ground to combat hunger.

How are you planning to bring the spirit of service into the New Year? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld and #8Nights