Second Helpings Atlanta (SHA) and Creating Connected Communities (CCC), the host organization for Amy’s Holiday Party, are both the recent recipients of opening grants of nearly $10,000 from The Good People Fund (GPF). Their efforts focus on the power and teaching of social responsibility, teen philanthropy and an investment in tzedakah. GPF both discovers and supports small, effective tzedakah initiatives in the U.S. and Israel dedicated to tikkun olam that might otherwise fall below the radar screen of larger charities.
In 2004, SHA was founded by congregant Guenther Hecht as a social action project of Temple Sinai in Shady Springs. Today, several hundred volunteer families and individuals have rescued and distributed more than 3.5 million pounds of food.
Right down the road, CCC provides leadership training for teens to work with vulnerable children receiving services from Atlanta’s local agencies. As a capstone project, they plan and host Amy’s Holiday Party for more than 700 underprivileged children from the Greater Atlanta area. The grant will underwrite increased busing to bring additional children to CCC events as well as costs involved in their Spring event.
At the age of 12, Amy Sacks Zeide was devastated after watching a TV news report where someone had stolen all the presents from an Atlanta homeless shelter just before their annual holiday party, leaving the children with nothing. Amy then donated her time and the money she received from her Bat Mitzvah to throw a holiday party for the children at a local Atlanta shelter. She is now the Executive Director of CCC. Both Hecht and Zeide have instilled their Jewish values into the organizations they founded.
The deep rooted values that SHA and CCC promote are also shared by the mission of this micro philanthropy The Good People Fund, a true tzedakah initiative. In the coming months, Naomi Eisenberger, founding director of the Good People Fund, will visit the Atlanta area to catch up with Guenther and Amy.
Editor’s note: Rachel Litcofsky is the Public Relations Consultant for The Good People Fund. For more information about The Good People Fund, visit www.goodpeoplefund.org.