August 12, 2008
Today’s mail brought a very nice tzedakah check which included a note describing the origin of the donation. We think it bears repeating here so that upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids who are looking for a meaningful way to celebrate their simcha might duplicate or create their own version of the idea.
Erin Sharfman celebrated her Bat Mitzvah this past Hanukkah and decided that gelt is one of the many things that we think of when recalling this holiday. Who doesn’t remember the gold-covered coins that were eagerly awaited along with a gift or two? (Sometimes just getting the wrapper off of the small coins took all the patience we had as young children.) So–why not collect gelt from her guests?…the loose change kind of gelt that always adds up to something very significant.
When Erin’s guests received her invitation six weeks before the actual simcha, they were asked to collect all of their loose change over the next several weeks and bring it to her party which was held on the Sunday of Hanukkah. Well, collect their loose change they did! On the day of her party Erin was overwhelmed with tons of loose change (and some bills too!) After counting and wrapping it all, (and adding some of her own funds to the total) Erin was able to send us a check which she asked to be split between the good work being done by A Package From Home (http://www.apackagefromhome.org/) and the very famous Clara Hammer who provides Shabbat food for poor families in Israel. Erin learned about Clara while attending Camp Ramah, and her family had heard about Barbara Silverman’s efforts when they received an email that described the packages that Barbara sends to soldiers (many of them chayalim bodedim or lone soldiers who have no family in Israel) serving in the IDF. Along with the donation to A Package From Home, Erin also included several letters to soldiers which were written by her guests at the party. Erin recalled that the letters of support were one of the soldiers’ favorite items to receive in the packages.
Yasher koach to Erin and her family! What a great mitzvah project. There will be many smiling faces in Israel because of your creative ideas.