Mitzvah Day | Gratitude In Action
Explore the timeline to learn more about the history of Mitzvah (Good Deeds) Day and how it expanded and evolved to a collaboration with faith communities and other organizations in the community.
The beginnings of Mitzvah Day
Marcia Weiner, a driving force at the temple, became involved, connected with social action contacts at local churches. Soon, monthly meetings got rolling, and Green Valley-Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse pitched in as a liaison to find local organizations needing a hand, said Mike Finkelstein, temple center president.
Revving Up & Expanding
Riding on their initial success in 2014, organizers for Green Valley/Sahuarita’s Mitzvah Day doubled their charitable efforts.
Based on that encouraging turnout, the team revved up in February to plan two Mitzvah Days this fall in hopes of involving a broader range of helpers.
Inclusion, never exclusive
Rather than limiting participation, Wiener wanted people of all faiths to get involved. The Mitzvah Day planning committee was now comprised of people from the LDS church, Beth Shalom Temple Center, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, Valley Presbyterian Church, St. Francis Episcopal Church and other faith groups. They work with non-profit organizations and schools to find projects and volunteers.
Broadening the volunteer base
90 adults ages 55 to 90, and 60 students ages 15 to 18 from Sahuarita and Walden Grove high schools, took part in the 2017 Mitzvah Day. The four-year average is 150 adults and 36 students.
Students collected 300-plus cans of food, and baked cookies for distribution at the Crossroads Mission in Nogales. Volunteers deep cleaned the kitchen at the food bank; cleaned furniture and washed toys at Los Ninos del Valle PreSchool; did gardening and yard cleanup at Valley Assistance Services, Continental School and at local churches; painted a classroom at Sahuarita Middle School; and made cards for the Parkinson Support Group.
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